So Ahab went to eat and drink. But Elijah climbed to the top of Mount Carmel and bowed low to the ground and prayed with his face between his knees. (1 Kings 18:42)
Relate: There is two possible ways to understand Elijah’s position in prayer. This picture isn’t one of them. One is that, at the top of the mountain, he bowed low from a standing position so that his body was doubled over. I’m not very flexible and the only way I could hold myself in a position close to this is if my elbows rested on my knees and my folded hands held my head in place. Try it, you’ll see what I mean.
The other way is if he got down on his knees then folded his body up so that the top of his head would be touching the ground with his face towards his knees. This is the traditional understanding and its my take as well. It fits what is said in the KJV that he cast himself down on the earth. Either way there are two things that both positions share: 1) It is very uncomfortable. 2) You can see nothing around you.
Prayer is not necessarily something that is easy or comfortable. In prayer he intentionally shut himself from the world around him. These are two of the four things this scripture teaches us about prayer. In addition we learn that Elijah continued in prayer until he saw an answer, but once he had one, he immediately acted on it. Also, even though God already spoke through Elijah what was going to happen, it did not come until Elijah prayed it into existence.
React: Prayer isn’t as easy as the snooze button. It isn’t as comfortable as watching the NBA finals or the latest season of the Voice. It’s not as fun as hopping on my bike and heading over to the park. But sometimes I need to shut off those things of the world around me. I need to climb that mountain and cast myself to the ground in humility before my Father. God is going to move and I need to position myself through prayer into what He is going to do or else get caught up in the coming storm. Once in prayer, I need to pray through. A polite little request, thank you, and get on my way simply will not do it. I need to pray, pray again, and then pray some more. After that I must keep on praying until I have received my answer. God’s promises are real. They are valid. They are for today. And for some reason, He has chosen to unlock them for us through prayer.
Let it rain. You have promised to pour out Your Spirit. It will happen. A storm is coming like nothing this world has yet seen. God, let it come. Help me, help us to find ourselves in a position of prayer that we might be ready when it comes. Make us ready so that when the winds begin to blow, we will be ready to run with it. Until then, let us persevere in calling out for You.