Navigating Spiritual Disappointment – Part 6
I Prayed and God Let Me Down – Part 5
I’m going to end “Navigating Spiritual Disappointment” with an illustration. I want to ensure that one can clearly understand what I mean by saying to navigate through the circumstances of life that can only be changed spiritually. If you can remember in a previous episode I spoke of Elijah and his request for rain. I would like to revisit his story to illustrate my point.
Elijah asked for rain because he had originally prayed for there not to be any rain. Think about that for a minute. He prayed for it not to rain, and that prayer was answered. Now his circumstances have gone in the opposite direction, and he must pray for rain. PAUSE!
Let me encourage you with this. It is okay to pray for one thing and later have to pray the opposite. Don’t succumb to the thought that you prayed incorrectly, got it wrong, or had no idea what was going on. Pray anyway. That is what God wants of you, to pray anyway.
In answering Elijah’s original request for rain, God answered by stopping the rain in the way that God does what only God does. Because God is so big, so powerful, it didn’t rain for years and created a drought for years. This all happened from a prayer request. Now Elijah is faced with trying to reverse his initial prayer request. Could it be that you are trying to reverse the very thing you asked Him for in the first place? It would appear as if Elijah was not satisfied with what God has done, so to speak. Imagine what was going through Elijah’s mind. God, You gave me too much, a drought. No rain insight. You went too far with the request.
Did I mention that God cannot do small, He’s just too big. Therefore, Elijah had to go back to God and ask Him to reverse it. Have you gone back to God or are you complaining and whining about what God has done? Why don’t you reach out to your Father and let Him know that enough is enough?
- Make the Request.
It says Elijah prayed earnestly six times and then on the seventh time he saw a sign that his prayer was answered. He made the request: can you bring rain back?
- Check for Results.
The scripture indicates that because Elijah prayed earnestly, he left his time communicating with God so inspired and impacted by what God said to him that he sent his servant to look for an indication that it would rain. The servant returned to Elijah with the results. “I don’t see any signs or any indication that it is going to rain.” 
That would be letdown #1. The scripture indicates that Elijah goes back to his time of communicating with God that we label as prayer. I would imagine that Elijah mentioned to God, You said it was going to rain. Just like I was assured that when I pray for it, not to rain, that it didn’t rain.  I prayed this time and I’m confident in YOU that it is going to rain again. So, God reassures him that it will rain. Again inspired, he comes back and tells his servant.
The servant repeats his action and checks for a sign. Letdown#2. While I am here, when was the last time you decided to look for results? Maybe you are not seeing results because you are not looking for them. Elijah looked for the results after he had prayed a specific prayer. He was looking for rain to occur in his area and so he sent out his servant. The servant once again comes back with a negative report. I don’t see any signs of your prayer being answered.
- Be tenacious when God speaks.
This back and forth, praying and checking, happened six times. Letdown#1-6. How many times will you be willing to go pray and check for results?
Look for the response.
Look for the reply.
Look for the indication that what you and God are communicating about to happen.
- Don’t stop looking for what God has said to you.
There is one thing I know for sure. If God had said “no” to Elijah, I can assure you that it was not going to rain. Instead, I believe Elijah was so accustomed to praying that he would have taken God at his word. Therefore, since Elijah was looking for the results, you best believe that God gave him a reason to look for rain each time. Is God saying “no” to you or is He saying you better keep looking? Why have you stopped looking for the next job or career that God said was coming? Why have you stopped looking for the promotion? The restored marriage? The idea you’ve needed? Why have you stopped looking?!
I haven’t said this in a while, but this is Next Level prayer. What were you expecting?!
- Refine your “ask” to get an answer that works for you.
Maybe you are praying prayers that are ambiguous and you don’t know what results to look for. Sounds like to me; you need to change your request a little and get specific with it. Elijah looked for specific results after he prayed a specific prayer. He expected rain to fall in his area. Therefore, he sent someone to look for rain.
Let’s finish up with Elijah. Elijah goes to speak with God a seventh time. Before I go here, it does not say this, but it does not NOT say it. Elijah didn’t go to God using the exact same words. Using my imagination, Elijah expressed something like this. Lord, you told me it was going to rain, just like you told me it wasn’t going to rain. Why am I not seeing the rain?
Don’t forget this important fact, Elijah is a skilled pray-er and knows how to hear God. Therefore, each time He prayed; God reminded Elijah of all the things they had gone through. He also let him know if I (God) said it is going to rain, it is going to rain. That is what made Elijah come back the seventh time and send his servant to look again.
- Get excited at the glimmer of an answer.
Elijah’s servant came back this seventh time with, I think I see a glimmer of hope. I see a little small cloud in the distance. Could it be that you are missing your small sign? Maybe you are not excited about what you are seeing that indicates God is about to answer your prayer. It may not look like how you want it to look but get excited anyway.
Energized by the report and the sighting of this little bitty cloud, Elijah sent his servant to announce to the people that it was about to rain. When was the last time you got excited about a prayer? When was the last time you prayed and announced that it was about to rain? Elijah got so excited he outran the Chariots and beat the messenger who was sent ahead to deliver the news. He knew rain was coming and there was nothing anyone could do about it.
I will leave you with this. Are you praying the same thing and getting the same results? Or will you change it up by praying the same thing but in different ways? Will you try it the Elijah way? So that when you get to your sixth letdown you push through with excitement, and on the seventh time the rain will begin to fall in your life.
Question: What are you praying repeatedly that could use an Elijah like refinement?
 1 Kings 18:41-46 NLT, Bible.com, accessed January 19, 2024, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/1KI.18.41-46.NLT
 James 5:17-18 NIV, Bible.com, accessed January 19, 2024, https://www.bible.com/bible/111/JAS.5.17-18.NIV
All Scripture references used by permission, see our Scripture copyrights.