Praying for that which God has already done

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Leviticus 9

So they brought what Moses commanded before the tabernacle of meeting. And all the congregation drew near and stood before the Lord. Then Moses said, “This is the thing which the Lord commanded you to do, and the glory of the Lord will appear to you.”

22 Then Aaron lifted his hand toward the people, blessed them, and came down from offering the sin offering, the burnt offering, and peace offerings. 23 And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of meeting, and came out and blessed the people. Then the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people, 24 and fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. When all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.

1 Kings 18

23 Therefore let them give us two bulls; and let them choose one bull for themselves, cut it in pieces, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire under it; and I will prepare the other bull, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire under it. 24 Then you call on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord; and the God who answers by fire, He is God.”

So all the people answered and said, “It is well spoken.”

37 Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.”

38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. 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!”

In the Leviticus passage we read about Aaron’s first atoning sacrifice as God’s high priest. Moses told Aaron and the people that they would see the glory of God on that day. When the sacrifices were made, God sent His fire and consumed the offerings on the altar confirming to Aaron and to all of the people that He had received their offerings and atoned their sin.

Generations later, Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal to a duel. The God that answered by fire would be the true God. The reason Elijah could make this bold statement was that he knew Leviticus and the history of the atoning sacrifice. Elijah knew that God had answered by fire before and that for His glory, God would do it again.

In reading this, I was reminded that God is pleased to answer our prayers when we pray for things that He has done before. Elijah’s faith was not on a whim but on the facts of God’s previous activity. Our faith is not on a whim either, it cannot be. Faith without substance is as empty as one with no faith. The substance of our faith, (Hebrews 11:1) is the previous actions of God for His people. If God never changes, if Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, then we can expect our prayers to be answered as they have been answered somewhere before.

We often ask if some action or decision has precedence, has it been done this way before. If something has precedence, we have more confidence to attempt it again. The Bible is filled with ways that God both protected and provided for His people. Whenever we find ourselves in a difficult situation, God would have us come to Him and ask Him to provide for us or to protect us as He has done for others, so that He may receive great glory. These prayers of faith are the prayers we pray with confidence, just as Elijah did the day he prayed for fire to fall from heaven and consume his sacrifice, as it had at Aaron’s first sacrifice. In a way, Elijah was unfair to the prophets of Baal. He knew that His God had answered with fire before, he was betting on a sure thing. Let us come to God with the same confidence in the hours of our needs.

 

Join with me in prayer today for Victory Academy for Boys and for Pastor Mark. There are decisions that need to be made today and Pastor Mark needs God’s wisdom in a special way. Because of a staffing issue, the Academy did not open in September. They are opening in January this year. In the meantime, another situation has arisen. Join with us today in special prayer for this ministry.

 It is grievous to see so much pain taking place around the world. Many nations are living in unrest with riots, demonstrations, violence, and more. Pray for our brothers and sisters in difficult places and pray for men and women to seek the Lord and His peace in the midst of their confusion.

 Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

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