1 Kings 19 is the epitome of a weary prayer. Elijah’s body is worn out from running a marathon and not eating. He’s used all his emotional energy fighting for God and living under constant death threats. He has nothing left. God alone is sustaining his spirit.
“What are you doing here Elijah?” God comes to Elijah’s cave.
“I have done everything for you, God. It’s failing. I’m alone and they are coming to kill me.”
“Go stand before the Lord.” Comes the divine response. And the Lord passes by.
The rocks shatter.
The ground trembles.
The earth is engulfed in fire.
Once the sheer power of the presence of God has captured Elijah’s attention, then the Lord speaks.
Exhaustion naturally turns our focus and our prayers inward. Elijah mentions himself six times in two identical prayers as he prays the broken record inside his head. “I did everything right. It’s all gone wrong. I have nothing left to give because I did everything right. It’s all gone wrong. I have nothing left to give because…”
When we have eaten nothing, drank nothing, gone too long without sleep, worked too hard without a break, humanity catches up with us. And we find ourselves exhausted before God. Our prayers mirror Elijah’s – because that is all our broken minds can spit out.
Elijah needed relief and God knew his downward spiral could not be derailed by self-help or self-love or self-care. The Lord gave Elijah what he needed. He needed God, to see and focus on God’s presence, God’s power, God’s love. He needed to worship the Lord of Hosts, escape from the traps of his own mind, and rest in the arms of the Almighty.
He was still hungry. The tiredness didn’t leave. The death threats remained. But Elijah was no longer hiding alone. He lifted his eyes and saw his God, strong to save, good to all, and faithful to His promises, forever. Let the weary come wonder at the greatness of the Lord and find relief.
Come with me as we grow in fellowship with each other and our Savior to whom belongs the Amazing Escape from sin and death and the Amazing Journey into glorious life.