Morning & Evening Devotional Reading–
by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and edited by W. C. Neff
“[Elijah] requested for himself that he might die.”
—1 Kings 19:4
It was a remarkable thing that the man who was never to die— the very man who would later be carried directly into heaven in a chariot of fire and would never see death— should pray this prayer: “Let me die, for I am no better than my fathers.” We have here a memorable proof that God does not always answer our prayers as we pray them, but he always answers them in the effect he allows them to have. He gave Elijah something better than that which he asked for. God truly hears our prayers and truly answers them.
It was strange that the lion-hearted Elijah should be so depressed by Queen Jezebel’s threat to kill him only to run away and ask the Lord to take his life. Our Heavenly Father was terribly kind not to take his despondent servant at his word.
There is a limit to the doctrine of the prayer of faith. We are not to expect that God will give us everything we ask for. We know that we sometimes ask and do not receive because we ask for the wrong reason. If we ask for that which he has not promised, if we run counter to the spirit which the Lord would have us cultivate, if we ask contrary to his will or to the decrees of his providence, if we ask merely for the gratification of our own comfort and without an eye to his glory, we must not expect that we will receive.
Yet, when we ask in faith without doubting but don’t receive the precise thing asked for, we will receive an equivalent— indeed, something better. It has been said, “If the Lord does not pay in silver, he will in gold; and, if he does not pay in gold, he will in diamonds.”
Dear reader, be much in prayer, and make this evening a season of earnest intercession. But take care that you ask rightly. [M&E]