Have you been praying and praying for something and wondering why God isn't answering? Me too. There could be many reasons why God has not answered your prayer yet. Here's just a few
- Are you living in obedience to God?
- Is He waiting for you to do the last thing He told you to do?
- Is your request in the will of God (Has He told you specifically or can you find it in the Bible?)
- Is the timing right? Perhaps God is waiting for the perfect time.
- Does it depend on someone else? If so, God may be working on them!
- Are your motives right?
Aside from all of those, perhaps all you need is a little more water on the sacrifice!
One of my favorite stories in the Bible is found in 1 Kings 18. The great prophet Elijah was participating in the biggest challenge of his life. He had challenged the wicked king at that time, Ahab, to a God-duel. He told him to assemble 450 priests of Baal (You may want to read my post on what Baal worship entailed) and 400 prophets of Asherah (the Asherah pole is where we get our stripper pole today. Threw that one in for free) to meet him on Mount Carmel along with all of Israel. Elijah's purpose? To prove once and for all who the real God was, who the more powerful God was.
Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!” But the people were completely silent. 1 Kings 18:21
The challenge was for both the prophets of Baal and Asherah and Elijah to set up two altars and place a slaughtered bull on top of each one, but not to set it on fire. Then they each were to pray to their god and ask him to set the wood on fire.
The prophets of Baal and Asherah went first. Scripture says they cried out to Baal from morning until noon, dancing and hobbling around the altar. Elijah began making fun of them, telling them perhaps they needed to shout louder. Maybe their God was asleep or on a trip or relieving himself! So, they did. They shouted, danced, raved, and even cut themselves with knives and swords until blood gushed out. (This is why cutting oneself is demonic)
Still nothing. Now it was Elijah's turn. But instead of crying out to God for fire, he had a most unusual request. He built a trench around his altar and requested them to “Fill four large jars with water, and pour the water over the offering and the wood.”
These were not small water pots. Each one held between 20 and 30 gallons of water (see John 2:6). So, by simple calculation, Elijah ordered somewhere between 240 or 360 gallons to be poured on this sacrifice. It was drenched, and the water flowed off the altar onto the ground, even filling a trench that had been dug around it.
I wonder if Elijah was getting a little nervous by this time. I mean, things weren't looking too good for God to answer his prayer for fire. It would be impossible for the soaked wood to ever catch on fire, right? It would be impossible for God to answer his prayer.
Then, he uttered this simple prayer:
“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.”
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! And when all the people saw it, they fell face down on the ground and cried out, “The Lord—he is God! Yes, the Lord is God!”
Sometimes when it seems God isn't answering our prayers, it's so easy to get discouraged and even angry and bitter. Our hearts can become cold toward God as we listen to the lies of the enemy that God doesn't love us or care about our problems. But what if.....? What if... God is just waiting for more water to be poured over the sacrifice, for the situation to become worse and seemingly impossible. Then all of a sudden BAM! He sends fire from heaven and answers our prayer, and guess what? Everyone who knows us and our situation is astounded at the miracle, and many of them end up getting saved! God is glorified!
Elijah's motive for his prayer was to bring glory to God. When that is also our motive, and we ask in faith, we can be assured that God will answer. He promises He will do so!
You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it! John 13:14-15
Whether you're praying for health, money, a job, a spouse, a prodigal, if your ultimate purpose is not only for your own needs, but to bring God glory then He may simply be waiting for more water to be poured in the sacrifice so that more people will be saved when He answers your prayer.
So, be encouraged. Check your motives, and let God use you in a mighty way to bring more and more people to Him!