Are Prayers Ascending?

“But there was no voice; no one answered, no one paid attention.”

– 1 Kings 18:29

Israel is God’s chosen nation. Jerusalem is where Jehovah placed His name forever (2 Chronicles 6:6; 1 Kings 14:21). It is a nation founded and established by the Lord. And yet, at the time Ahab reigned, there was a severe famine and extreme political division. For a country with a solid foundation, it indeed became desolate. What would cause a people of promise to stray so far from their origins? They became the people the Apostle Paul described, “who exchanged the truth of God for the lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:25). Lust and power became the new title for progress. A divided nation was in a constant struggle to survive. The worship of false gods became the demise of a land of promise.

During the days of King Ahab, Elijah was God’s prophet. There was no healing in the land because prayers never ascended. The prophets of Baal chanted all day and night. They even began cutting themselves and bleeding as a sign of being poured out to their false gods. At first glance, it would appear that these prophets were from other backgrounds and religions. This was not the case. These were God’s chosen people who had walked away from Him. Israel was no longer a light unto a dark world. It looked nothing like what God had initially established through their forefathers. Judgment would eventually come. As it does on any nation that turns its back to the Lord.

We may desire to see healing in our land and revival on a massive scale. In fact, God’s promise is just that! “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). And yet we continue to see our land desolate and too divided. Could it be, even as Christians, that we are placing our hopes in false gods? Could it be that we again have been looking to a person or political agenda for healing? Is that not praying to gods who will not hear, will not answer, and pay no attention? May we tear down the idols we have set-up and return to the origin of our First Love…Jesus!

“Do you remember those early days? Have you declined since then? If you have, we charge you to remember that time of love and repent; do your first works. Be most engaged in those experiences that have proven to draw you nearest to Christ…”

– C. H. Spurgeon
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