As many of you now know, I recently found out that my wife is pregnant with our first child. Even though we are still in the beginning stages of this journey, what an incredible time it has already been. It has already been challenging in some ways, but it has been an exciting time for both of us and we are blessed to share it with so many wonderful people. We are overjoyed and cannot wait for the arrival of our little revivalist.
Pregnancy is a peculiar thing. One of the most interesting things in the very beginning is that you can be pregnant and not know it yet. We now know that my wife was pregnant for several weeks before we actually found out about it. Even now, my wife still doesn’t look pregnant but we know that there is a real life that is developing on the inside of her. This is crazy to me!
Prayer is often very similar to this. For many of you, you have continued to be faithful and seen little fruit recently. You have prayed fervent prayers but have seen few answers. You have cried out and seen little breakthrough. Some of you are serving in your current assignment the Lord has you in and you are tired, worn down, and wondering if it is even worth it anymore. You have no idea what is going on in the background though. You don’t look pregnant, and you don’t feel pregnant, but there is so much more going on then you realize. You may not be able to see it, but God is answering your prayers. Heaven is moving at the sound of your voice. It may take some time, but there is a baby coming!
There is a story in the Bible that I am reminded of as I think about these things. It’s found in 1 Kings 18. Elijah had prophesied that it would not rain and it hadn’t for some time. He then confronted the prophets of Baal, and called fire down from heaven. What happens next is the part that I really want you to see. He tells Ahab that he hears the sound of an abundance of rain. This is remarkable. It hasn’t rained in years and there is no sign of it coming any time soon, yet Elijah says that he hears it. He then starts to pray for rain and asked his servant to go check if it had started raining yet. The servant checks seven times and sees nothing. The seventh time the servant went to look, he saw a very small cloud. This cloud is oh so significant though.
This is fascinating to me. Elijah believes he saw the answer before he started praying. Anyone can see the answer when it’s right in front of them but only the man or woman equipped with revelation can look in faith and see the answer coming. To return to my pregnancy analogy, an ultrasound can see the baby long before there is ever a sign of a baby. Faith, like the ultrasound, looks ahead and sees the promise long before there is ever a sign of anything happening.
It is also fascinating to me that Elijah responded the way he did when he saw such a small cloud. He said he heard the sound of an abundance of rain, yet he only got a small cloud when he prayed for rain. You have to learn to celebrate the cloud the size of a mans hand before God will let you experience the downpour of promise and blessing in your life. If you can’t celebrate the small things God is doing in your life, it will limit the amount of abundance you experience. Elijah saw that the small cloud contained so much more. Your cloud may be small now but it should be an announcement to you that more rain is on it’s way!
We see this throughout history as well. Every major revival in history began with a prayer meeting. There are countless stories of seemingly insignificant prayer meetings giving birth to massive revival. There are stories like Evan Roberts and a small group of college students gathering together to pray for revival in Whales. You should look up the Welsh Revival and see what came out of their “small cloud” prayer meetings. And then there is one of my personal favorites, Daniel Nash and Abel Clary. These men would go into a city and begin to pray for the worst of the worst to get saved. After several weeks of travailing in prayer, they would send a telegram to none other than Charles Finney who would come and preach at revival meetings in that town. Do you know what that small cloud produced? The Second Great Awakening. Whats my point? Don’t take for granted the significance of your small cloud.
I hope this encourages some of you. If it seems like your prayers are going unanswered, just keep checking. It may not look like much is happening, but you may be carrying something that has not been revealed to you yet. The Lord is putting the pieces together in the background and soon you will begin to see the fruit of those prayers you have been faithfully sowing over the years. If you are in a drought, I want to encourage you – I hear the sound of an abundance of rain!