Prayer & Fast – Day 19

JANUARY 21ST, 2022      |     Elijah was a fiery, passionate prophet in Israel’s history. Among other things, he prophesied a drought, was miraculously fed by ravens, cared for a widow and her son, later raised that son to life, and opposed evil King Ahab in dramatic fashion on Mt Carmel. Ahab’s wife, Jezebel was equally evil. Upon hearing of Elijah’s victory, she threatened his life.

A threat he knew she could deliver on. Part of that story is found in our reading in 1 Kings 19. Listen to 1 Kings 19:3-5, “Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it, and prayed that he might die. ‘I have had enough, Lord,’ he said. ‘Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.’ Then he laid down under the bush and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, ‘Get up and eat.’” (NIV)

It’s safe to say, Elijah was depressed. If a mighty, fiery, effective prophet of God can experience depression or emotional distress, so can we. It’s also safe to say that God will make provision for our emotional healing and freedom as he did for Elijah. Yes, sometimes what we need is a snack and a nap, but far beyond that, God provided two very important things, a juniper tree (broom brush) and Himself.

The juniper tree is a desert shrub that sometimes grows 10 feet high. It is seen in scripture with this coupling of despair and divine encounter. It takes many, many years to grow. Long before Elijah was called to ministry, long before his showdown on Mt Carmel, long before it all – God knew where he would be, what state of mind he would be in, and that he would need a juniper tree to lay down under.  In Elijah’s life and in yours, the Lord has already gone before you to make provision for what you will need! It’s His way.

Following rest and physically feeding, God strengthened Elijah with His very presence, a gentle whisper. While we are not promised to be without pain in this life, we are promised His peace, power, provision, and presence in it. Is your heart broken over something? Is your spirit crushed or feeling the weight of pain? He will bind up the broken-hearted and save those crushed in spirit.

Be comforted by that today. This same God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Elijah is YOUR God! He has gone before you and is present with you.

Prayer & Fast – Day 19

1 Kings 19:1-13; Psalm 34:17-18

1 Kings 19:1-13; Psalm 34:17-18

Elijah was a fiery, passionate prophet in Israel’s history. Among other things, he prophesied a drought, was miraculously fed by ravens, cared for a widow and her son, later raised that son to life, and opposed evil King Ahab in dramatic fashion on Mt Carmel. Ahab’s wife, Jezebel was equally evil. Upon hearing of Elijah’s victory, she threatened his life.

A threat he knew she could deliver on. Part of that story is found in our reading in 1 Kings 19. Listen to 1 Kings 19:3-5, “Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it, and prayed that he might die. ‘I have had enough, Lord,’ he said. ‘Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.’ Then he laid down under the bush and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, ‘Get up and eat.’” (NIV)

It’s safe to say, Elijah was depressed. If a mighty, fiery, effective prophet of God can experience depression or emotional distress, so can we. It’s also safe to say that God will make provision for our emotional healing and freedom as he did for Elijah. Yes, sometimes what we need is a snack and a nap, but far beyond that, God provided two very important things, a juniper tree (broom brush) and Himself.

The juniper tree is a desert shrub that sometimes grows 10 feet high. It is seen in scripture with this coupling of despair and divine encounter. It takes many, many years to grow. Long before Elijah was called to ministry, long before his showdown on Mt Carmel, long before it all – God knew where he would be, what state of mind he would be in, and that he would need a juniper tree to lay down under.  In Elijah’s life and in yours, the Lord has already gone before you to make provision for what you will need! It’s His way.

Following rest and physically feeding, God strengthened Elijah with His very presence, a gentle whisper. While we are not promised to be without pain in this life, we are promised His peace, power, provision, and presence in it. Is your heart broken over something? Is your spirit crushed or feeling the weight of pain? He will bind up the broken-hearted and save those crushed in spirit.

Be comforted by that today. This same God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Elijah is YOUR God! He has gone before you and is present with you.

Responding to the Word

In what ways is the Holy Spirit speaking to You from God’s Word? 

How can you apply this to your life? Take some time to journal your thoughts.

Prayer

Father, like Elijah at times I experience depression or fear. Help me see Your hand of provision and sense your presence. Give me Your power to overcome . . .

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