Day 5: The Most Wonderful Gift!
(You can have all this world but give me Jesus. -)
May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began. John 17:23-24
When it comes to prayer, the man named Elijah immediately comes to mind. Who would miss the contest in Mount Carmel? Elijah versus the 850 prophets of Baal and Asherah. What’s the contest about? Whoever could burn the offered bull first, wins. Easy right? But here’s the catch, no one should ever set fire on it. But by prayer, both opponents would ask God or Baal and Asherah to set fire on the bulls. We know the rest of the story, the prophets of Baal prayed all day crying and shouting at the top of their lungs, however no answer came.
On the other hand, when Elijah’s turn came, he simply uttered, “O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, prove today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant. Prove that I have done all this at your command. O Lord, answer me! Answer me so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God and that you have brought them back to yourself.” 1Kings 18:36-37.
Then, “Immediately the fire of the Lord flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones, and the dust. It even licked up all the water in the trench!” Verse 38.
How about when he was commanded by God to go by the Kerith Brook near Jordan River and stay there until He said so, fed only by the ravens the whole time? Isn’t it a marvelous story of prayer? It’s easy to imagine Elijah praying all day and night to God for protection and daily supplication in that isolated area. God, in turn, who’s always true to His words, never failed him.
There’s also the story, that through prayer, Elijah brought back to life the dead son of a widow from Zarephath. “The Lord heard Elijah’s prayer, and the life of the child returned, and he revived!” 1Kings 17:22
Yet, there was also a time where Elijah had to pray seven times before the Lord answered.
“…Elijah climbed to the top of Mount Carmel and bowed low to the ground and prayed with his knees. Then he said to his servant, ‘Go and look out toward the sea.’ The servant went and looked, then returned at Elijah and said, ‘I didn’t see anything.’ Seven times Elijah told him to go and look. Finally the seventh time, his servant told, “I saw a little cloud about the size of man’s hand rising from the sea.’” 1Kings 18:42-44
Why should Elijah repeatedly pray when God promised him that rain was sure to come, and the fact as well that he had been answered instantly on his previous prayers? Why is it necessary for Elijah, otherwise us for that matter, to pray when we know that God can accomplish such impossible things even without our help or our praying?
So that, “I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am.” What’s birthed in Elijah everytime he prayed wasn’t a fire that burnt or a cloud that brought rain. It was a relationship. A relationship deeper than any of us could imagine. A relationship that raptured him up to heaven by its own chariots and charioteers.
Prayer after all is not those lengthy and fancy words to impress asking God to grant us this and that. Prayer after all is the heart crying out ‘Lord, I want to be wherever you are and see all Your glory.’
To be with Jesus and have Him in all His glory, isn’t that the most wonderful gift one could ever receive? You can all this world just give me Jesus.