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“Elijah's Prayer was Persevering”
by Morning Meditation   
October 26th, 2008

He said to his servant, "Go up now, look toward the sea." And he went up, and looked, and said, "There is nothing." --How often have we sent the lad of eager desire to scan the horizon! and how often has he returned with the answer, There is nothing!-- There is no tear of penitence in those hard eyes. There is no symptom of amendment in that wild life. There is no sign of deliverance in these sore perplexities. There is nothing. And because there is nothing when we have just begun to pray, we leave off praying. We leave the mountain brow. We do not know that God's answer is even then upon the way.

Not so with Elijah. "And he said, Go again seven times" (1 Kings 18:43). There is a truer rendering of this: "Then said he seven times, Go again." It is not that the lad was told to run to and fro seven times, without interrupting the prophet in prayer; but it would appear that again and again the lad came back to his master with the same message. "There is nothing;" and, after an interval, he was bidden to go again.

He came back the first time, saying, "There is nothing" (1 Kings 18:43). Elijah said, "Go again." And that was repeated seven times. It was no small test of the prophet's endurance; but he was not tried more than he could endure, and with the ordeal there came sufficient grace, so that he was able to bear it.

Not unfrequently our Father grants our prayer, and labels the answer for us; but He keeps it back, that we may be led on to a point of intensity, which shall bless our spirits forever, and from which we shall never recede. The psalmist says, "Yea, let none that wait on {95} thee be ashamed" (Psalm 25:3). Then when we have outdone ourselves, He lovingly turns to us, and says, "Great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt!" (Matthew 15:28). He waits, that He may be gracious unto us. F. B. Meyer

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