Matthew 7:7 “Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you. (8) For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened. (9) Or what man is there among you, when his son shall ask him for a loaf, will give him a stone? (10) Or if he shall ask for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? (11) If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!”
Elijah prayed and it did not rain for three years and six months in Israel, then he prayed again and it did rain. What did Elijah pray for? – RAIN. Specifically, they needed rain. That is exactly what he asked for and that is what the people received. The story is in I Kings chapters 17 and 18. First off, the people of Israel had turned from God. He had declared earlier that if they turned from Him and served other gods that He would withhold rain from their land. Israel had a wicked King named Ahab who along with the people had turned to worship the false god, Baal. In a contest between Elijah and the prophets of Baal, they prepared two bulls, one for the prophets of Baal to offer up to Baal and one for Elijah to offer up to the one true “God who answers by fire.” The prophets of Baal cried out to their false god for hours but nothing happened. Then Elijah called for fire from heaven and God answered by fire and consumed the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, the dust and the water that Elijah had told the people to pour on and around the bull. Elijah asked specifically for fire and that is what he got. I Kings 18:39 “Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces, and they said, ‘The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!’” They turned back to God and this put them in a position to receive blessings again. Specifically they needed rain. In verse 40 Elijah executed all 450 prophets of Baal. In vs. 41 Elijah says by faith “…there is the sound of abundance of rain.” In vs. 42 Elijah gets in a posture of prayer. In vs. 43 He sent his servant to go look for rain – the servant saw nothing and Elijah said seven times “Go again.” He had asked God for rain and he kept looking for his answer. In vs. 44 the servant said, “…There is a cloud as small as a man’s hand…” So Elijah, although there was very, very little evidence of rain told King Ahab, “Prepare your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.” And in verse 45 “…there was a heavy rain.”
Things to learn from this story
(1.) Elijah prayed specifically for rain. We need to pray specifically. Do you need a job? Pray specifically for the job or type of job you need and want. Do you need help? Pray specifically for what kind of help you need. (2.) The people had turned from God and stopped the flow of blessings and instead received a curse. (3.) When the people turned back to God it put them in a position to receive the blessings of God again. (4.) Elijah was specific, and also persistent. He sent his servant back seven times to look for the rain he had prayed for. (5.) The initial report of a cloud was that it is a very small cloud. He began praying in faith and stood in faith even when the evidence was nothing at first. End result was an abundance of rain (6.) Elijah received the answer through effective fervent prayer. (7.) We can do the same as reported in James 5:16-18 (16) “Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective [fervent [KJV]) prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. (17) Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain; and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. (18) And he prayed again, and the sky poured rain, and the earth produced its fruit.”
BE SPECIFIC IN YOUR PRAYERS
The story of two blind men is recorded in Matthew 20:24-34. Two blind men heard that Jesus was passing by and cried out, saying, “Lord have mercy on us, Son of David.” The multitude told them to be quiet “but they cried out all the more, saying, ‘Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David.’” Vs. 32 “And Jesus stopped and called them and said, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’“ Obviously He knew, but God wants us to verbalize our requests to Him in a very specific way. Vs. 33 “They said to Him, ‘Lord, we want our eyes to be opened.’ Vs. 34 says “And moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him.”
Things to learn from this story
(1.) They cried out to the Lord more than once, even when others said, “Be quiet.” (2.) He knew their need yet He wanted them to specifically ask for what they wanted. (3.) They got specific. (4.) They received their sight.
Another story in Matthew 8:5-13 – The Roman centurion asked Jesus to only say the word and his servant would be healed. Jesus, seeing his faith, healed his servant that very hour.
Thing to learn –
Ask in faith. Remember God is not moved by needs; He is moved by faith.
In Matthew 8:1-3 In verse 2, a leper came to Jesus and said, “Lord, if you are willing, You can make me clean.” (vs3) “And He stretched our His hand and touched him, saying, ‘I am willing, be cleansed.’ And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.”
Things to learn –
(1.) The leper was very specific in his asking. Be specific. (2.) Jesus is willing to answer prayer.
Also in Matthew 15:29-31, the multitudes came. What do you think they came for? The blind came to see, the deaf came to hear, the dumb came to speak, the lame came to walk, the crippled came to be restored and that is exactly what they got.
A cowboy came to a cowboy preacher, one year about 1980-1982 at the Ft. Smith, Arkansas rodeo and asked him to pray and agree with him for a new roping saddle. He was asked,, “What kind?” The cowboy responded, “A Howard Council roping saddle.” He said, “Show me one.” They walked around and found one on a horse. They prayed the prayer of agreement. This was in May. In July a few weeks before the big rodeo in Cheyenne, WY the cowboy received not only one but two Howard Council roping saddles. He received one by bus in a box, not even knowing where it came from. Get specific, ask with the right motives, keep your heart right with God, ask in faith, stand in faith, trust in God, receive your answer, give God the glory when it comes.
Have you specifically asked Jesus to forgive your sins ands to come into your life and to be your Savior?
Rev. 3:20 “Behold I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me.” He will come in if you ask. Pray this, “God I am a sinner, I need a Savior, I ask you to forgive me of all my sins. I ask Jesus to come into my life and be my Savior and the Lord of my life; I ask for eternal life with You in heaven. I thank You that right now I am saved. Heaven is my home. I ask You Holy Spirit, to help me live a life pleasing to my Father in heaven. In Jesus name, Amen. Read Romans 3:10, 3:23, 5:8-9, 6:23, 10:9-10, John 3:16, Acts 2:38.