I preach a great deal on prayer because I believe in the effectual, fervent prayer of the righteous. But praying alone will not shake a city!
Elijah was a man of powerful prayer, but it was more than his prayer that shook Ahab’s kingdom and enraged Jezebel. He actually called the false prophets to Mount Carmel and challenged them. Jezebel had slain God’s prophets and led Israel into apostasy and the horrible idolatry of Baal worship—and no one had challenged her! Even though seven thousand believers had not bowed, they were silent, unknown, and afraid. So along comes Elijah, whom Ahab called “the troubler of Israel!” (1 Kings 18:17). Elijah ended up at the Brook Kishon with a sword in his hand, slaying hundreds of Baal’s false prophets “in the name of Jehovah.”
Elijah was not a gentleman with the devil and his crowd. While “they leaped upon the altar . . . Elijah mocked them” (1 Kings 18:26-27). The church of late has cowered before the powers of darkness due to the lack of holiness, for the Scripture tells us, “The righteous are bold as a lion” (Proverbs 28:1). Some will say, “But Jesus was meek! He never opened His mouth or resisted when they took Him to be crucified.” But that was because the hour of darkness had come, the hour He was to be given into the hands of the enemy. He was not silent in the temple when He drove out the money-changers. He was not silent when He called religious leaders serpents—blind guides—whited sepulchers—a generation of vipers (see Matthew 23). He even told some boldly that Satan was their father!
Many churches today are full of silent, gentlemanly diplomats who do not want to make waves. Nobody wants trouble! So the devil’s kingdom goes unchallenged. We have more than enough smiling, mousy Christians! I heard the raging of a man who said to me, “Let’s you and me make a bet—any amount of money! You people in the church can’t stop anything. You’ll get a little publicity, but nothing ever changes. You can’t shut anything down. You’re powerless.” He was speaking of abortion and I could detect the mocking of Satan in his voice. It was a dare! It was as if to say to all Christians, “You’re all spiritual wimps. You won’t last—you’ll give up when the opposition comes. You’ll just run back inside your safe walls and hide.”
No! “The righteous are as bold as a lion.”