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The prayer that raises the hand of God – Part 1

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Revd. Idy James

Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain. And it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruits, James 5:17-18 (NKJV)

E.M. Bounds, a famous American Evangelist of blessed memory, once said: “The life of the Church is the highest life, and its office is to pray. Its prayer life is the highest life, the most fragrant, the most conspicuous. When God’s house on earth is a house of prayer, then God’s house in heaven is busy and powerful in its plan and movements.” (culled from his book — secrets of prayer that gets result).

Thinking about the fact that we are surrounded by so many “prayer ministries” or “prayer houses” and our world or generation today witnesses or partakes in so many “prayer conferences” with little or no results; and the fact that as a Church, we pray and little impact is felt, gives me much concern as to finding out WHY?

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Friend, the reason remains the same, as it was in the days of Elijah the prophet. Heaven has been locked up against us, owing to the breaking of the Commandments of the LORD — “Then it happened, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him, “is that you, O troubler of Israel?” And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the LORD and have followed the Baals.” (1 Kings 18:17-18 — NKJV).

When God’s people turn their hearts against God and forsake following His ways, the consequences are always dangerous (see Deut.28: 15-68). This is because sin shortens or weakens God’s hand and makes His ears dull that He cannot hear us (see Isaiah 59:1-11).

We shall, therefore, endeavour in this message to outline some principles, which Elijah employed and God’s hand was raised again in favour of Israel after the three and half years’ drought and famine. This means that your heavens can be unlocked again to bring rain and your earth can produce fruits again.
Principle 1: The Man/Person Praying

“And it came to pass, at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the Prophet came near and said, “LORD God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel and I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your Word” (1 Kings 18:36).

Elijah

It is not the volume of words, language (tongue) or well-articulated grammar used in prayer that moves the Hand of God to act, but the person praying.

From the text above, you see that the person praying was not just parading himself as a Prophet, but was an obedient servant…” Let it be known this day that you are God in Israel and I am your servant, and that I have done all  things at your Word” (1 Kings 18:36). Who are those praying in Churches today?

Who are those praying in our prayer band and ministries today? If our prayer must make a difference, then watch out for character/life and don’t be carried away by Charisma only.

Rev. Idorenyin James, Congregational Pastor, United Evangelical Church (Founded as Qua Iboe Church), Surulere, Lagos.
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