Great Plains Daily Devotional for 8/8/2020

Today please be in prayer for

Chelsea Shrack
Kansas State University Campus Ministry
Flint Hills District
Diane Euler
Admire UMC
Allen, KS UMC
Miller, KS UMC
Flint Hills District
Kyle Scheideman
Alma, KS UMC
Paxico McFarland UMC
Flint Hills District
Daneale White
Alta Vista: Simpson UMC
Dwight UMC
Flint Hills District

Today's Lectionary Text

1 Kings 18:41-46

Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of rushing rain.” So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; there he bowed himself down upon the earth and put his face between his knees. He said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” He went up and looked, and said, “There is nothing.” Then he said, “Go again seven times.” At the seventh time he said, “Look, a little cloud no bigger than a person’s hand is rising out of the sea.” Then he said, “Go say to Ahab, ‘Harness your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’” In a little while the heavens grew black with clouds and wind; there was a heavy rain. Ahab rode off and went to Jezreel. But the hand of the Lord was on Elijah; he girded up his loins and ran in front of Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.

Today's Devotional

Growing up and then returning to live in my hometown of Winfield, Kansas, I participated many times in the Winfield Oratorio Society’s presentation of the great Felix Mendelssohn oratorio “Elijah.” It was certainly a blessing in my life, and even now as I read any part of the story of Elijah in the book of 1st Kings, the music for that particular part comes rushing back to me.

But today as I read this passage, something else struck me. These verses come immediately after Elijah won perhaps the greatest contest ever, calling on God to send fire down on the altar Elijah had created, while the gods of Baal couldn’t produce the same result.

Clearly Elijah had a special relationship with God. But when he bent down in prayer to call upon God to end a three-year drought God had sent to punish the people who had turned away, Elijah had to send a messenger seven times before the messenger finally reported that a cloud was rising from the sea to bring rain. SEVEN TIMES! Even this great man of God needed patience to wait for God to work in God’s own time.

Elijah persevered, and God answered his prayers and sent rain upon the earth. But what if Elijah had tried just once – or perhaps twice – and had given up, thinking God wasn’t listening? Would the rain have come anyway? I fear that sometimes we give up on God if we don’t think our prayers are being answered, or if we don’t hear God talking to us, leading us to do the things God created us to do.

But if Elijah - this great man of God - needed seven times before God answered his prayer, then I should probably employ Elijah’s patience as well, and take the time not only to talk to God in prayer, but listen for when the answer comes – even if it takes 7,000 times!

Have a blessed day!
--Rev. Keith Anglemyer
Beloit First UMC

Prayer for Reflection

God, grant us the wisdom and desire to reach out to you in prayer. Then grant us the patience to understand that answers come in your time, but that you are always listening to us. AMEN


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