THE ALTAR OF ANSWERED PRAYER 3
Another crucial aspect of the altar of answered prayer is the state of the altar. When the prophets of Baal were praying on the altar on Mount Carmel, the altar was in total disarray. Everything was disorganized. Therefore, the first thing that Elijah did was to repaired the altar and put everything on the altar in order. In 1st King 18: 30-33, the Bible declares, “Then Elijah said to all the people, ‘Come near me’. So, all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down. And Elijah took twelve stones according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob to whom the word of the Lord had come saying, ‘Israel shall be your name.’ Then with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord, and he made a trench around the altar large enough to hold two seahs of seed. And he put the wood in order, cut the bull in pieces and laid it on the wood.”
The altar here represents your heart. If there is confusion in your heart, it means you are praying from the confused state of mind. Such a prayer is an effort in futility unless God decides to show His sovereignty. We must prepare and repair our heart. Elijah did not just begin to pray. He repaired the altar before he prayed. How do we repair and prepare our heart for effective prayer lifestyle? First, we must rid our heart of all forms of malice and grudge. Unwillingness and inability to forgive are killers of effective prayer lifestyle. Once our heart is polluted, our prayers will be contaminated. Contaminated prayers have no place in the throne room of God. As long as we keep many people in the jail room of our heart by not forgiving them, we too will remain in the bondage of unanswered prayer.
Another way of repairing and preparing our heart for answered prayer is by studying and feeding our heart with the word of God. From the study of the word of God, we will know the mind and the will of God. Elijah repaired by rebuilding the altar using twelve stones representing the twelve tribes of the sons of Jacob. Through the scripture, Elijah knew what the Lord said concerning Jacob. The word of God concerning Jacob was “Israel shall be your name.” Elijah was praying to the God of Israel, hence the building of the altar on the twelve stones representing the sons of Jacob. We are talking about the foundation upon which the altar of our prayer is built. In this regard, faith in the Living God is the foundation stone upon which our heart operates when we pray. Elijah based his prayer on his faith upon the God of Israel because he already knew the mind and will of God concerning the issue at hand. In conclusion, effective study and praying the word of God is critical to building an altar of answered prayer.
This series will continue. Remain blessed.
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BY DR. KAYODE FANILOLA