Today I am in a place of supernatural peace while I wait silently on the Lord to answer me.  This supernatural peace is like no other feeling.  Though there are many things going on in my life that would, in the natural sense, be “worrisome,” I am virtually worry-free.  My mind and my body appear laden with some sort of a peace like barrier that is supernaturally keeping anxiety, fear, and worry out, while I stay bathed in a constant overflow of heaven’s sweet, honey-coated peace.  In other words, I couldn’t get worked up if I tried today.  What I want you all to know is that my life is not ‘”problem-free.”  If that were the case, my prayer list would not be as lengthy as it is.  But that is the beauty of having a prayer list…it is a list of things you essentially have no control over that you lay before the Lord and believe and trust that He will provide, remove, heal, take care of, send help and answer each and every single dot and tittle you have written down.  So here I am, with my list before the Lord and a peace that He has, in fact, answered each request.  All His promises are yes and amen and so I pray, believe, and continue on with the day stretched before me by His unseen providential hand, in a peace that cannot be described in human language.

Lately the Lord has been teaching me to pray like Elijah.  To have faith like Elijah.  To be righteous like Elijah.  Yes, Elijah the prophet who saw many miracles at that providential hand of God.  Yes, Elijah, the mighty man of God who raised a widow’s dead son back to life, saw her jar of oil and flour remain filled throughout a 3 year drought, called fire down from heaven to consume a soaked sacrifice on a sopping wet altar in a “match of the gods,” shut up the heavens, opened the heavens, was caught up in a heavenly chariot his assistant bore witness to as he was escorted from this earth on the winds of fiery messengers… yet doubted, grew weary,  complained, prayed fervently, was filled with sarcasm at times, ran for his life, listened for God’s whisper in a cave, was fed by ravens, was fed by angels when he was too exhausted to go another step having been chased by a wicked queen,

and collapsed, begging to die,

under a juniper tree.

Hmmm…why the juniper tree?  Is there significance to why God would have the juniper tree recorded a handful of times throughout scripture?

Yes.  You see, the juniper tree is a shorter, shrubbery type bush, rather than an actual tree…it grows in extreme conditions in the desert heat and frigid night-time temperatures.  It provides barely enough shade for desert dwellers, or on-the-run prophets to find relief from the blazing sun, yet it does provide relief.  It’s wood is known to provide the best coal that radiates the most intense heat, and the reason for this is…

because of the extreme conditions it is grown in…

It also, in full bloom, can be seen from afar as its fragrant blooms remind the observing eye of its Creator who brings forth beauty from the barren…fruit from the forsaken…

The Juniper tree is a picture of Isaiah’s furnace of affliction, Job’s gold after being tested, Elijah’s respite and refreshment for his next assignment.  For when the Juniper tree reaches maturity it then and only then has reached its goal where it can burn the brightest giving off more heat than any other wood.

So why did God tell me to pray like Elijah?  To have the faith of Elijah? Well, for one He first told this to James, the brother of Christ, to pass on to us:

“Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray.  Is anyone cheerful?  Let him sing praise.  Is anyone among you sick?  Let him call for the elders of the church, an let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the  name of the Lord.  And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up.  And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.  Therefore confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.  The prayer of the righteous has great power as it is working.  Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth.  Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit” James 5:13-18.

Elijah had a nature like ours.

like ours…

Elijah, Job and David all begged to die…

they all complained…

felt afraid…

two of the three ran for their lives…

wanted to throw in the towel…

give up.

And just in the nick of time…after collapsing under the weight of sheer exhaustion, dehydration, and despair of human spirit,

God provides the shade of a juniper tree, sends an angel to provide a jar of water, and a cake of bread,

baked on a hot desert stone, not once but twice…

to revive the heart of a prophet to believe once again….

That there is a cloud beginning to swell…

I encourage you to read 1st Kings 18:41-19:8.  I mean, PLEASE, read this passage, then turn to James 5 and read.  Ask the Holy Spirit to grant the eyes of your heart enlightenment and insight and to give you the faith of his beloved prophet.

then…

Pray your heart out…and check again, and again,

and again, and again….

until it POURS!

 

Next week I plan to elaborate more on James 5 so stay tuned!!

held in a coating of heaven’s honey-sweet peace, known intimately by Him,

trish

 

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