was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that
it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years
and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth
brought forth her fruit. James 5:17, 18.
lessons are presented to us in the experience of Elijah. When upon Mount Carmel
he offered the prayer for rain, his faith was tested, but he persevered in
making known his request unto God.
The servant watched while Elijah prayed. Six times he returned from the watch,
saying, There is nothing, no cloud, no sign of rain. But the prophet did not
give up in discouragement. He kept reviewing his life, to see where he had
failed to honor God. . . . As he searched his heart, he seemed to be less
and less, both in his own estimation and in the sight of God. It seemed to
him that he was nothing, and that God was everything; and when he reached
the point of renouncing self, while he clung to the Saviour as his only strength
and righteousness, the answer came. The servant appeared, and said, “Behold,
there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand.”
1 Kings 18:34.
We have a God whose ear is not closed to our petitions; and if we prove His
word, He will honor our faith. He wants us to have all our interests interwoven
with His interests, and then He can safely bless us; for we shall not then
take glory to self when the blessing is ours, but shall render all the praise
to God. God does not always answer our prayers the first time we call upon
Him; for should He do this, we might take it for granted that we had a right
to all the blessings and favors He bestowed upon us. Instead of searching
our hearts to see if any evil was entertained by us, any sin indulged, we
should become careless, and fail to realize our dependence upon Him. . . .
Elijah humbled himself until he was in a condition where he would not take
the glory to himself. This is the condition upon which the Lord hears prayer,
for then we shall give the praise to Him. . . . God alone is worthy to be
Devotional: Our Father Cares, pp. 99, 100.