Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament prophetic book of Zechariah, and more specifically, begins with the first verse of the tenth chapter, and continues through to the seventeenth verse of the eleventh chapter. When you begin reading this particular passage of Scripture, you are immediately confronted with one of the most pointed and powerful interactions one can have with the true and living God. Starting with the very first verse of this chapter we encounter a reality that is found multiple times within and throughout Scripture, yet one that is rarely considered by many within modern Christendom. The first verse of this passage begins with a word of instruction, yet one which can quite honestly be broken down and broken into individual parts. Pause for a moment and consider what this first verse looks like as it is broken down into individual parts: ASK! ASK YE OF THE LORD! ASK YE OF THE LORD RAIN! ASK YE OF THE LORD RAIN IN THE TIME OF! ASK YE OF THE LORD RAIN IN THE TIME OF THE LATTER RAIN! It is actually quite remarkable that through the prophet Zechariah the Lord of hosts would instruct His people to do something very specific—something which they perhaps hadn’t even thought of or considered for several years. We know for a fact that the people of God spent seventy years living as captives and exiles in a strange and foreign land, and we know from the dating and timing of the kings who reigned over the Persian Empire that at least thirty additional years had passed from the time the Jewish people returned to their own land, to the time Zechariah and Haggai emerged on to the scene. What’s more, is that while in the first chapter we read of the word of the Lord coming unto Zechariah in the second year of Darius’ reign, we will find in a subsequent chapter that the word of the Lord came to Zechariah again in the fourth year of the reign of Darius king of Persia. Thus, it is possible that more than one hundred years had passed and elapsed from the time the Jewish people were taken as captives into the land of the Chaldeans to the time of this prophetic word. In all reality, this seems to suggest that fit is possible the Jewish people had spent nearly one hundred plus years not asking anything of the Lord. Pause for a moment and consider that reality—the reality that it is quite possible that for at least seventy years the Jewish people perhaps asked nothing of and nothing from the Lord. There is a particular passage found within the Old Testament book of the Psalms that seems to indicate the general mindset and emotional state of those who had been taken as captives from the land of Israel, and forced to live as captives and exile in a strange and foreign land. In the one-hundred and thirty-seventh chapter of the book of the Psalms we find a passage that undoubtedly describes the tremendous sorrow that surrounded and enveloped those who were living as captives and exiles in the land of the Chaldeans: “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sin us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land? IF I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy” (Psalm 137:1-6). It is from this particular passage that we encounter a general sorrow that surrounded those who had been taken as captives from the land of their ancestors and forefathers. I am inclined to state that if the Jewish people could not even sing one of the songs of Zion while living as captives in the land of the Chaldeans, they probably spent very little time asking of the Lord anything in prayer and supplication. I will say that there is at least one who consistently prayed before and unto the Lord while living in the midst of the Babylonian Empire, and then again in the Persian Empire. The entire ninth chapter of the prophetic book of Daniel describes Daniel as being one who prayed unto the Lord with his windows open toward Jerusalem three times a day, thus indicating that there were perhaps a very small number of those who gave themselves to praying unto the Lord. I would dare say that Daniel was perhaps an exception to the concept that those who dwelt as captives and exiles within the land of the Chaldeans gave themselves to prayer, and even asking anything of the Lord. There is no indication in Scripture that the captives and exiles gave themselves to crying out to the Lord in despair, in sorrow, and in anguish as we saw in the Old Testament book of Exodus when the children of Israel lived as slaves in the land of Egypt. I am inclined to believe that those Jews who lived as captives and exiles in a strange and foreign land had undoubtedly relegated themselves to have been abandoned, forsaken, and perhaps even forgotten by the Lord of hosts—this despite the prophetic declaration of Jeremiah that seventy years had been decreed for their captivity and exile.
Pause for a moment and consider the fact it is quite possible that for nearly seventy years the people of God not only lived as captives and exiles in a strange and foreign land, but they also had stopped asking anything of the Lord. What’s more, is that if they had relegated themselves to have been unable to ask anything of the Lord, they undoubtedly relegated themselves to not expecting or anticipating anything from the Lord. Think about what type of place that is within the life of a specific individual—the place where one neither expects nor anticipates anything from the Lord. Consider what a tremendous place of despair and utter hopelessness one has to be in to no longer ask anything of the Lord. It’s one thing to not ask anything of the Lord—it’s something else altogether to not have any sense of expectation or anticipation that the Lord can or will do anything within your life. I can’t help but wonder how many men and women among us in this generation are living in and have found themselves living in this very place. I can’t help but think about how many men and women sit next to us in the pews and chairs of our churches, and yet have absolutely no anticipation or expectation from the Lord. Scripture does speak of one not expecting anything from the Lord, yet it is under very specific circumstances that Scripture even speaks of this. If you journey to the New Testament epistle which James wrote, you will find James writing these words which begin with the third verse of the first chapter: “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:2-8). It is here and with these words that James writes unto his audience and declares unto them that those who waver in their faith, and those who are doubled minded need not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Thus, that individual that is unstable, that individual that is double-minded, that individual that wavers in their faith more often than not lives in a state where they neither expect, nor even anticipate anything from the Lord. It is one thing to expect to receive nothing from the Lord because you are wavering in your faith, and perhaps even because you are unstable in your ways; it is something else entirely to live without any anticipation or expectation from the Lord.
I am convinced there is a vast and fundamental difference between not expecting to receive anything from the Lord, and actually living without any anticipation and/or expectation from the Lord. There are a number of men and women who right now are living with an absolute sense of hopelessness as they spend each time claiming and professing to be a servant and follower of Christ, yet have absolutely no expectation or anticipation in prayer. How many men and women might even spend time praying before and praying unto the Lord, yet they do so more as a formality and responsibility than anything else? How many men and women may very well pray before and pray unto the Lord each and every day, yet their prayers are absent and void any expectation or anticipation? In other words, while it is true they are indeed praying unto the Lord, their prayers aren’t filled with any hope. What about you? What are your prayers like? What is your prayer life like? Do you pray with hope and excitement within your heart? Do you pray with anticipation and expectation within your heart? I can’t help but think about what an incredibly tragic place it is to pray unto the Lord—perhaps even three times a day as Daniel did—and yet have absolutely no anticipation or expectation within that prayer. Permit me to be straightforward and blunt right now and ask you this very pointed question—Why do you pray? If you pray—even if you pray at least once a day—why is it that you voice your prayer and petition before the Lord? Do you pray because for you it is nothing more than a discipline and/or practice? Do you pray because it’s a formality of what you profess to be your Christian walk and service? Do you pray and do so out of responsibility and obligation rather than joy and excitement? Is there even any joy within and surrounding your prayers and your prayer life? If there is no joy surrounding your prayer life, can you in fact remember the last you prayed with a sense of joy and excitement? If there is no hope within and surrounding your prayers and your prayer life, are you aware of when that hope seemed to fade away into the background and become a distant reality? What’s more, is are you even aware of what the cause of that lack of joy and excitement even is? Are you aware of what brought you to the place where your prayers became more of a formality than something that excited you within the very depths of your being? In all reality, I am convinced that when we pray before, and when we pray unto the Lord, there should be a profound sense of joy and excitement. If there is no joy, if there is no excitement, if there is no hope when you pray, why even pray? Why pray unto the Lord if there is no fire burning upon the altars of you prayer?
The more I consider this particular reality, the more I am becoming increasingly convinced that if the excitement and joy in your prayers and prayer life is non-existent, chances are there is very little passion and fervor connected with them as well. In the Old Testament the priests were given specific instruction to keep the fire upon the altar burning every day—morning, afternoon and evening—and that the fire was never to go out. The priests were daily responsible for adding wood to the altar in order that the fire might never go out. Think about it—if the fire upon the altar were to ever go out, how possible was it to offer one’s gifts and sacrifices upon the altar? What good is attempting to offer your gifts, your offerings and your sacrifices upon an altar that has no fire? This reality is true of countless men and women when speaking of their prayers before the Lord, for the fire has long been absent from the altars of their prayer lives. There is not a doubt in my mind that if the excitement and joy surrounding your prayers and prayer life aren’t there, chances are that there is very little passion and fervor. Oh, you might very well pray before the Lord, yet your prayers don’t carry with them the tenacity and force that is needed when drawing near and approaching the Lord. It might very well be that this is one of the main reasons why the Lord permits us to experience struggles, and trials, and afflictions, and sorrows, for nothing seems to draw out passion and fervor more than such realities manifested within one’s life. This is not to say that it is the Lord who initiates the suffering, the affliction, or the sorrows, but that the Lord knows and understands that such realities can be used as tools within His hands to ignite passion and intensity within one’s prayer life. It is very possible that the Spirit of the sovereign Lord can in fact use suffering, afflictions and sorrows to stroke the fires and embers of one’s personal altar, as well as one’s personal prayer life. I have to ask this question, and I am convinced that it directly applies to a number of individuals right now within this generation. The question that I have to ask is whether or not you are tired of praying with little if any passion. Are you sick and tired of praying unto the Lord with little excitement and enthusiasm? Are you sick and tired of praying unto the Lord with absolutely no anticipation or expectation? Are you tired of praying hopeless prayers rather than hopeful prayers? I believe with all my heart that there are men and women who right now have stopped praying altogether—not because they don’t enjoy praying per se, but because there seems to be no excitement or enthusiasm within their prayers. Think about it—if the excitement and enthusiasm that once surrounded something you engaged in has waned and become non-existent, how likely are you to consider continuing to engage yourself in that activity?
When I read the words of the prophet Zechariah in the opening verse of this passage, I am immediately gripped by the tremendous invitation the Lord presented to His people—the invitation to ask of the Lord. What’s more, is that the invitation the Lord gave wasn’t merely an invitation to ask, but an invitation to ask for something specific. I can’t help but be reminded of the words which Jesus the Christ spoke which are recorded for us in His famous Sermon on the Mount. Beginning with the seventh verse of the seventh chapter we find one of the most profound invitations given within Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount—one that I am convinced countless men and women spend very little time responding to. Consider if you will the words which Jesus spoke concerning prayer and our approaching and coming near unto the Lord of hosts: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? OR if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him? Therefore all things whatosoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets” (Matthew 7:7-12). There is another passage found in the Old Testament book of First Kings that helps shine an even greater deal of light on this reality of one being given an invitation by the Lord of hosts to ask of Him what we will. This passages describes an event that took place earlier in the life of Solomon king of Israel while he was in Gibeon, as the Lord appeared to him by night in a dream:
“In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on this throne, as it is this day. And now, O Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know now how to go out or come in. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered not counted for multitude. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understand heart; so that there was none like thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statues and my commandments, as thy father David di walk, then I will lengthen thy days” (1 Kings 3:5-14).
There are a number of passages which are found and recorded within the New Testament gospel of John, which directly speak to this concept of asking of the Lord that which we will. Essentially, what we find in the gospel according to John is Jesus inviting His disciples—and not just His disciples, but all those who would follow Him, to ask of the Father that which they will. “But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee” (John 11:22). “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If he shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it” (John 14:13-14). “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15:7). “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, He may give it you” (John 15:16). “And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, He will give it you” (John 16:23). “At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you” (john 16:26).
It’s clear from Jesus’ words written and recorded for us in the Sermon on the Mount, as well as the various references that are found in His upper room discourse to His disciples, that both He and the Father desire, and even delight in disciples and followers alike asking of the Father what they will, and doing so in the name of Jesus. Seven times within in as many verses Jesus speaks of asking of the Father that which they will, and even asking in His name, and upon doing so, the Father will grant unto them that which they ask. The Lord appeared unto Solomon by night in a dream and invited him to ask of him anything he would, and that would the Lord do for him. Upon hearing the invitation given unto him, Solomon recognized the task and assignment before him of serving as king over the people of God was far greater than he felt adequate to accomplish. As a result of this mindset, Solomon asked the Lord for a wise and understanding heart, in order that from that place of wisdom and understanding, he might be able to effectively govern the people of God. What’s more, is that the Lord was so pleased with Solomon’s request for a wise and discerning heart, and what he didn’t ask for, that he not only granted Solomon that which he had requested, but also that which he hadn’t requested. T his particular reality not only leads me to believe that there are times when the Lord will invite us to ask for something specific, but it is also possible the Lord can be pleased with that which we ask for. In the case of Solomon, the Lord invited him to ask of him what he would, yet the Lord didn’t give him any clue or indication as to what he should even ask for. I am utterly and completely convinced that the single greatest ways to know and understand what is within the heart of any individual is by listening and paying attention to the words which proceed forth from their mouths. Scripture clearly states that it is out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks, and I am convinced that this is as true of prayer as it is anything in our day to day lives. If you want to know what is truly within the heart of an individual, you need only listen to the words which proceed from their mouths. What’s more, is that if you listen closely—first and foremost to the words that come out of your own mouth—you will get a clear picture of what is found and present within your heart. The Lord knew and understood what was in the heart of Solomon based on the words which he voiced when responding to the invitation that had been given him by the Lord. The question I can’t help but ask right now at this juncture is what words are coming out of your mouth when you pray. What is it that you are asking the Lord for when you come and appear before Him in prayer? What is in your heart right now, and is that even translating into the secret closet of prayer within your life?
In the opening verse of this passage of Scripture in the prophetic book of Zechariah we find the Lord inviting a remnant people to ask of Him—and not only ask of Him, but ask of Him something very specific. In the first verse, the Lord invites this people—this people who had spent seventy years living as captives and exiles within the land of the Chaldeans, and at least another thirty years rebuilding their lives within the land of their inheritance—to ask of Him the rain in the time of the latter rain. There is another passage found within the second chapter of the Old Testament book of the Psalms that presents us with another invitation being given by the Lord to ask of Him—and not just to ask of Him, but to ask of Him something specific. “Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: The Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession” (Psalm 2:6-8). In the seventh chapter of the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah we find the Lord invited Ahaz king of Judah to ask of Him something very specific as well: “Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God; ask it either in the depth or in the height above” (Isaiah 7:11). It’s interesting and worth noting that when invited to ask the Lord for a sign to confirm the word which He had spoken, Ahaz responded by saying, “I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord” (Isaiah 7:12). In the eleventh verse of the forty-fifth chapter of the book of Isaiah we find these words and this invitation present: “Thus saith the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, AsK me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me” (Isaiah 45:11). In the sixth chapter of the prophetic book of Jeremiah we find these words spoken by the prophet: “Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls” (Jeremiah 6:16). ASK FOR THE NATIONS! ASK FOR THE RAIN! ASK FOR A SIGN! ASK ME OF THINGS TO COME! ASK FOR THE OLD PATHS! Within these various passages we find the Lord providing specific instruction, and even specific invitations to His people to ask of Him what He would give unto them. One thing I can’t help but think about is that if the Lord wasn’t willing to give you what He Himself suggests and invites you to ask for, why would He even suggest it in the first place? I believe if the Lord invites you to ask of Him—especially if He invites you to ask of Him something specific—it’s because HE desires to give you that very thing. The Lord appeared unto Solomon and invited him to ask of Him anything he wanted, yet provided no specific suggestion or instruction regarding the request. There is a part of me that wonders if we shouldn’t be mindful of what we ask of the Lord, for if the Lord was pleased with what Solomon didn’t ask for, I am convinced that He seeks to target what is truly within our hearts. The Lord knew what was ultimately within the heart of Solomon when he had the chance to ask of the Lord anything he desired, yet instead of asking what most would have asked for Solomon chose to ask for a wise and understanding heart instead.
The question I am finding myself asking right now is what are you asking of the Lord? What’s more, is now only what are you asking of the Lord, but when was the last time you asked of the Lord? How much excitement and enthusiasm is present with you prayers? When was the last time you prayed unto the Lord and truly believed that He would give you that which you asked for? When was the last time you prayed with eager anticipation and expectation before the God of heaven expecting Him to do and perform that which you have asked? Are you ready to have the intensity and fervor be present within your prayers once more? Are you ready for the fire upon the altar of your prayer life burn bright once more? The Lord desires that if and when His children and people come before Him in prayer, they do so with full expectation and anticipation that they are not only reaching heaven, but they will also receive what they ask for from Him. The days and time for empty prayers being prayed without any fervor, passion or intensity are over. I am utterly and completely convinced that what we need in this generation is a revival of what James speaks of concerning Elijah, and what we see demonstrated and manifested in the book of First Kings. In the fifth and final chapter of the New Testament epistle to James we find these words recorded concerning the ancient Hebrew prophet: “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that It might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit” (James 5:17-18). The account of which James wrote is recorded for us in the eighteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of First Kings and is what I leave you with at this point: “And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain. So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees, and said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is ntohign. And he said, Go again seven times. And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not. And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with black with clouds and wind, and there was a grain rain” (1 Kings 18:41-45). There is a contemporary Christian band called Seventh Time Down, which is based on Naaman the Syrian’s seventh time down in the waters of the Jordan River according to the word of the Lord. I would make one adaptation to this concept, and instead of “seventh time down,” I would add “seventh time kneeling,” or perhaps even “seventh time looking!” .
There is something absolutely remarkable that is contained within the eighteenth chapter of the book of First Kings—something I believe holds the key to men and women finding that place of excitement and enthusiasm in their prayers once more. If you read the forty-second verse of this particular chapter you will find these words: “And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees” (1 Kings 18:42). What causes this to become so incredibly powerful is what you read earlier in the chapter: “And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim. Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel’s table” (1 Kings 18:17-19). Jump down to the thirty-sixth verse of the same chapter and you will begin reading these words: “And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The Lord, he is the God; the Lord, He is the God” (1 Kings 18:36-39).
The reason I find what we read towards the end of the chapter so incredibly powerful is that when Elijah sought to pray to the Lord for rain, he didn’t pick any place to prostrate himself before the Lord in prayer. Instead, what Elijah did was go up to the top of Carmel, and there from that place he prostrated himself before the Lord and prayed—and he didn’t just pray once, but he prayed seven times. What’s more, is that for each time he prayed, he sent his servant to look for any sign in the sky that it was about to rain. Please don’t miss the significance and importance of this, for when Elijah prayed for rain, he chose to pray for rain in the very same place he prayed for fire—and received the answer to his prayer. There is not a doubt in my mind that when Elijah prayed for fire atop Mount Carmel, he fully anticipated the Lord to respond and to send fire down from heaven. The prophet sought to pray unto the God of heaven for rain in the very same place he prayed unto Him and asked for fire to fall. I am convinced there is a powerful prophetic picture that is contained in this passage—namely, that there is a great need to return to the place where the Lord answered by fire. There are men and women who in order to find that place of expectation and anticipation once more, need to return to the place where the Lord responded by fire from heaven. ASKING FOR RAIN IN THE PLACE OF FIRE! I am convinced the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is calling men and women to the place of fire in order that from that place they might pray for rain—and not just pray for rain, but actually receive the answer to their prayer. I believe the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord wants to bring men and women back to the top of Carmel where He responded to their prayers with fire, and there from that same place, invite them to ask for rain. Are you willing to return to the top of Carmel a second time? Are you willing to not only return to Carmel a second time, but also pray seven times in order that the Lord might respond to your prayer? Are you willing to return to the place of fire in order that from that place of fire you might pray for rain? Elijah prayed for fire atop Carmel, and the Lord responded by sending fire down from heaven, and it was in that very same place of fire falling from heaven the Lord responded by causing rain to once more fall upon the earth. One thing we must recognize, however, is that while Elijah prayed only once before the fire fell from heaven, he prayed seven times before it started raining upon the earth. There are times when we will pray once and the Lord will respond, while there are other times the Lord will call us to pray and to continue praying before He answers us. What’s so amazing about this, is that the very same place Elijah was to pray seven times for rain was the very same place the Lord responded by answering with fire. Elijah could pray for, and even expect rain because he had already prayed for and experienced fire falling from heaven. Let us return to that place where the Lord responded by fire, and let us once more pray unto the Lord—regardless of how many times He might ask us to pray—knowing that within and from that place, we might expect and anticipate that which we have asked for being released.