2 Kings 2:9-10 “And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me. And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so.”
Did you ever see someone with a special talent or skill and say; “I wish I could do that!”
Whether someone is blessed with a sweet singing voice, talent for teaching or preaching, a math mind, artistic ability, or wonderful talent to play an instrument; we all have been subject to envy – at least a little bit.
But, in this case, Elisha saw something that many did not. Yes, he saw Elijah do wondrous things in the name of Jehovah, God. But he also saw that at the center of all of what Elijah did, was a heart of faith that believed God could not only do what He said He would do, he put Him to the task. Elisha asked:
“And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.”
It was not a double portion of the Holy Spirit for it would have been capitalized. No, he asked for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. The spirit of the one whose prayer dried up the land for three and half years; that called down fire from Heaven to consume the sacrifice, and that stood up to the 450 prophets of Baal.
It begs the question; “Why don’t we see that kind of power today?” We find our answer in James:
James 4:2-3 “Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”
We read of old time preachers who had the spirit of an Elijah and Elisha. D. L. Moody, ‘Praying Hyde’, George Mueller are just a few names of men gone before who displayed great power in prayer. A man still alive today, Tom Williams, the cowboy evangelist, is a friend I have met that has seen miraculous things prayed for and answered.
These men of God are proof that God can and will still answer prayer in a mighty way today. So, why hasn’t God answered MY prayers? If I were to be honest, it is when I examine my heart and find that there is a matter of sin, unbelief and selfishness that invade my prayers.
Sin is easily remedied by confession and repentance.
Unbelief is more difficult as it relies on my faith and knowledge of God and His promises to do what I am asking.
Selfishness is deceptive – it may be wrapped in an eloquent prayer for others, but at it’s core, I want the credit; I want the blessing; I want the answer for me as well as for what I pray.
Many a conversation with my Heavenly Father is to remove me from the equation. That my prayers and those that I pray for would be devoid of any selfish desire; any credit for what it is I am praying for and filled with faith enough to trust that God will do what it is He said He would do.
Faith may ask that I put feet to my prayers.
I pray for lost loved ones to be saved, but am I willing to be the one to be a shining testimony and even more willing to show them from the Bible what they need to be saved?
Our lack of faith is at the very root of all unanswered prayer. Jesus told His disciples:
Matthew 17:20 “And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
They were sent out to preach the gospel, heal the brokenhearted, give sight to the blind, make the lame to walk, the deaf to hear, and cast out demons. And they saw those very things – until they came upon one lunatik boy whom they could not cast a demon out. They brought him to Jesus and the reason they could not was because of their unbelief.
We think some unable to be saved. We see it as impossible. We hear of someone with cancer and think – their done. We see horrific tragedy come into a life and we are paralyzed by our lack of faith in the God of Heaven to do anything.
When faced with the reality or even the impossibility of a situation, whose voice is it that we hear? The devil will turn up the heat on us to deter our prayers from even being spoken.
‘Why would God hear YOU?!’
‘You are so insignificant. How could you get a prayer answered by God?’
Satan is a liar. He is the father of all lies. He has assaulted centuries of humanity and attacked the very access to our power – prayer.
We must believe that we CAN hinder the work of the devil.
We CAN stop the mouths of the accusers.
We CAN ask for the impossible.
We CAN see the miraculous.
Today, examine where it is we fail in prayer.
Is it sin?
Is it unbelief?
Is it selfishness?
What mountain do you need removed in your life? All it takes is the faith of a mustard seed…