Today we continue our series “God is faithful!” The Lord led me to 2 Corinthians 4. In this passage, we are looking at what it looks like to believe God is faithful. Because of God’s faithfulness towards us, we can withstand and overcome anything!
For days we have been looking at verse 13. We will go back to it again today.
(2 Corinthians 4:1, 7-13, 16-18 TPT)
1 Now, it’s because of God’s mercy that we have been entrusted with the privilege of this new covenant ministry. And we will not quit or faint with weariness.
7 We are like common clay jars that carry this glorious treasure within, so that this immeasurable power will be seen as God’s, not ours.
8 Though we experience every kind of pressure, we’re not crushed. At times we don’t know what to do, but quitting is not an option.
9 We are persecuted by others, but God has not forsaken us. We may be knocked down, but not out.
10 We continually share in the death of Jesus in our own bodies so that the resurrection life of Jesus will be revealed through our humanity.
11 We consider living to mean that we are constantly being handed over to death for Jesus’ sake so that the life of Jesus will be revealed through our humanity.
12 So, then, death is at work in us but it releases life in you.
13 We have the same Spirit of faith that is described in the Scriptures when it says, “First I believed, then I spoke in faith.” So we also first believe then speak in faith.
16 So no wonder we don’t give up. For even though our outer person gradually wears out, our inner being is renewed every single day.
17 We view our slight, short-lived troubles in the light of eternity. We see our difficulties as the substance that produces for us an eternal, weighty glory far beyond all comparison,
18 because we don’t focus our attention on what is seen but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but the unseen realm is eternal.
I like to teach by both principal/precept and example. I believe Godly examples help reinforce Bible teaching in a powerful way that people can relate to. So today, I will use the prophet Elijah as a great example of speaking words of faith from a believing heart and how the power of God can be manifested on this planet as a result
(James 5:16-18 NIV)
The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.
In James chapter five, the Apostle is teaching us about the importance of prayer. He said that the prayer of a believer who is in right standing with God could be both powerful and effective. The Father wants us to pray. When we pray, we cooperate with God’s kingdom plans and purposes on earth for the earth to come in alignment with heaven. A great example of this is something Elijah did in 1 Kings 17 and 18.
If you read 1 and 2 Kings and 1 and 2 Chronicles, you will see a series of righteous and unrighteous leaders. Whenever Israel had a righteous leader, the nation prospered. When it did not, the nation suffered. In 1 Kings 17, Israel had a leader (king Ahab) who allowed his wife (Jezebel) to pollute his heart with idolatry. The Lord used Elijah to pronounce judgment over the king and the nation. Elijah confronted the king and said, “As surely as the LORD, the God of Israel, lives—the God I serve—there will be no dew or rain during the next few years until I give the word!” (1 Kings 17:1). He was basically saying, “Hey, Mr. King, it will not rain until I say it rains!” (Rick Piña Version). Elijah was led by God to say this. He said it, OUT LOUD, from a believing heart, in front of the king, and he walked away like it was already done. This is just like Jesus did with the fig tree. Elijah boldly declared what God led him to say, and sure enough, it did not rain for 42 months.
After three and half years, the Lord told Elijah to go back to Ahab. This was very dangerous. King Ahab had a bounty on his head. But Elijah trusted God. His confidence in God was greater than his fear of Ahab. So he went back to the king and let the king know that it was time for the rain to come back.
Before Elijah pronounced “RAIN,” he had the famous “showdown on Mount Carmel” with the prophets of Baal. In this showdown, Elijah made an open display of God’s power, and he publicly humiliated the false prophets and their false gods. By doing so, he was restoring righteousness to Israel.
After the showdown, Elijah prayed for rain. But this time, Elijah got down on the ground, with his face between his knees, and prayed for the rain to come back. Elijah told his servant to “Go and look toward the sea,” to see if he could see the rain coming. The servant came back and said, “There is nothing there.” Elijah and his servant repeated this seven more times. The first seven times, the servant did not see anything. But on the last one (the eighth), the servant said, “I see a cloud as small as a man’s hand and it is rising from the sea.” That was all Elijah needed to hear. Elijah said, “Go and tell Ahab, ‘Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’” Sure enough, a mighty rain fell.
In this story, we see two examples of prayer from the same person. The first example, which James calls an “earnest prayer,” was simply a statement. The second example is more like what most people think about when they picture someone praying. In both cases, Elijah spoke words of faith from a believing heart, and he was not moved by what he saw in the natural. He was only moved by what God was speaking to him in his heart.
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. Making a faith-filled statement is a form of prayer.
— Jesus spoke to a fig tree. He spoke a few words from a believing heart, and when the fig tree did what He said, Jesus took this as an opportunity to teach His disciples about prayer. Making a simple statement may not seem like a prayer, but when the words of the statement came from the UNSEEN realm, and you are speaking them from a believing heart, it is most certainly a form of prayer.
— Elijah made a simple statement that it would not rain until he said so. He said these words because God was leading him to do so. He spoke them from a believing heart. In the New Testament, James calls this an “earnest prayer.” When you speak what God is leading you to say, and you do so from a believing heart, fully believing that God will perform what you are saying, you are praying! It may not seem like prayer to you, but it is a form of prayer.
— When we close out each “Today’s Word” with a declaration of faith, it is a form of prayer if you speak the words from a believing heart.
2. Your physical posture does not matter when you are praying.
— Some people are so traditional, or flat-out religious, that they feel as though they have to get down on their knees to pray. Or maybe even put their hands in a certain position. Some even consider the loudness of their voice when they pray. They think that when they get loud, they are praying harder or stronger. But these are people who don’t understand God. God is not moved by form or fashion. He is not moved by ritual or routine. God is looking for faith. You can make all the “outward” motions you want and still not have faith. Faith is a matter of the heart.
— When Elijah was praying for the rain to come, he got down on his knees and put his face to the grown. But when he prayed for the rain to stop, he stood upright and simply made a statement to King Ahab. Both were prayers. Both were effective. Both were in agreement with God. Both led to a supernatural manifestation of God’s power on this planet. Both impacted the weather! You can argue that the first one when he was NOT on his knees, was more effective because he only prayed once. But to be clear, Elijah’s physical posture had nothing to do with it.
— You can pray on your knees, standing up, in church, at home, in your office, in your car, over the phone, face to face, all alone, or surrounded by people. Prayer simply boils down to the condition of your heart. If you believe what you are praying and are in alignment with God’s will, then how you are praying means little. God looks at your heart.
— If speaking words you truly believe is a form of prayer (and it is), then you should carefully consider everything you say. When you speak words of fear, doubt, and unbelief… things like, “This is going to fail,” or “This sickness is never going away,” or “Things never work out for me,” and you truly believe what you are saying, you are actually praying. But you are praying in the wrong direction. You are praying for satan’s will to come to pass and not God’s. If you truly understand the power of words, you would STOP saying anything that is not pleasing in God’s sight.
3. When you pray, you are declaring what you believe from the UNSEEN realm and you cannot allow yourself to be moved by the SEEN realm.
— Jesus spoke to a fig tree for it to die. Initially, the tree did nothing. But Jesus was not moved by what He saw with His physical eyes. He was only moved by what God said in His heart. We are called to live the same way.
— Elijah declared that it would not rain until he said so. He only said this because God led him to say it. He believed what he said. But he had no way of validating it with his senses. He had to wait to see what happened. Guess what? It did not rain for 42 months. When he came back and prayed for rain (because God led him to), he sent his servant out to see if the rain was coming. The servant came back with a negative report. Elijah then sent the young man out seven more times because he was convinced rain was coming. On the eighth time, the servant saw a little cloud. That little cloud quickly became a downpour. Why? Because Elijah was persistent. He was seeing rain in his heart, so he was not moved by what his servant was seeing in the natural. When what God is saying to you in your heart does not line up with what you are seeing in the natural, keep praying, keep believing, rain is coming, your breakthrough is only a matter of time. Just don’t allow what you see to cause you to change what you say or what you are praying!
That’s enough for today.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, this is a season of LEVELING UP for me. I LEVEL UP by speaking the language of faith daily. I learn from the examples of Jesus and Elijah. I live with an attitude of prayer. I can pray in my designated place in the morning, but I can also live out my day with a posture of prayer. When I say something that You are leading me to say, and I say it in faith, without a doubt in my heart, it is a form of prayer. Understanding this, I am praying all day because I spend my day SAYING what I am SEEING in my heart. I don’t have to be in a certain place, at a certain time, using any particular style of words, and I don’t even need to raise my voice. I speak the language of faith from a believing heart, and my words of faith will tap into Your power, just like any other prayer. If words killed a try, stopped the rain, and then brought the rain back, then I will speak words of faith over my family, finances, physical body, career, business, church, community, and my entire sphere of influence. I SPEAK THE WORD ONLY! I am speaking the language of faith all day, and I will have what I say! GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.