Transfiguration Sunday
2 Kings 2:1-12

“Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied (2 Kings 2:9b).

A dejected church member said, “Prayer does not work; I tried that!” Indeed, prayer is not a charm for those who know the magic words. It is not self-seeking prayer, ritual prayer or careless prayer that God honors; but God answers prayer. A focus on Elisha in this passage will help us learn the way of prayer that God is pleased to answer.

1. God Is Pleased with Persistent Prayer.
Three times in their journey to Jordan, the senior prophet urged his understudy to “Stay here.” Three times Elisha insisted, “I will not leave you” (vv. 2, 4, 6). Too often we quit too soon. We should not wonder that such prayers do not move heaven.

Twice, other prophets told Elisha that Elijah was going to leave him that day. He turned them aside with the same reply, “Yes, I know” (vv. 3, 5). Elisha had a single-mindedness that would not be derailed or distracted. Do you pray for something, then give God a deadline for granting it?

Some years ago, a woman lost an expensive diamond broach. She called the opera house where she had worn it. She described it and told where she was seated. The man put her on hold while he made a search. It took a while, but he found the jewelry. When he returned to tell the woman, she had given up and hung up. They hoped she would call back, but she didn’t. They put an ad in the paper to no avail. Keep on praying. God answers prayer.

2. God Is Pleased with Bold Requests.
Elisha requested a double portion of the spirit of his mentor. That does not mean he wanted twice as much Spirit-power as blessed the ministry of Elijah. In biblical times, the oldest son was designated the successor to the father along with all the duties that attended that position. For that responsibility, he was allotted twice as much of the estate as any of the other sons. To receive the double portion was to become the successor and head of the family. “You have asked a difficult thing,” said his mentor. How long since you asked God for something that stretched your vision?

That the request was granted is evident by the mantle from his master left behind when Elijah went up into heaven. Elisha revealed his mettle when he picked up the mantle of his mentor and did on the east bank of the Jordan just what he had seen Elijah do on the west bank. Slapping the swift current with the rolled-up mantle, he cried, “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?” and the waters divided. God give us such holy boldness and faith!

3. God Is Pleased with Believing Prayers.
Answered prayer is for those with the eyes of faith to see. Do we expect God to answer? Elijah’s response to Elisha may seem to us a strange reply: “If you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise not” (v. 10).

A young man was having lunch with an older, more spiritual gentleman when a waitress passed by and spilled a whole bowl of soup on the Christian gentleman. It ruined his suit, to say the least. The young waitress was terribly embarrassed, but the gentleman sought immediately to set her at ease: “Don’t be hard on yourself; it was an accident. Accidents happen. I know you are a hard-working young lady. Don’t fret.”

The younger believer was amazed. He thought, “My, I wish I could be that kind of gentleman.” He found himself praying that someone would dump a bowl of soup in his lap so he could react that way.

On the way home, he stopped at a red light. The car behind him did not quite stop in time and plowed into his rear bumper. Immediately, he got out and ran back to the other car and began to berate the young lady at fault. He didn’t seem to notice her car was hurt a lot more than his. “Just look! What a mess! Now I’ll have to wait for a policeman to write up an accident report. I’ll have to hassle with insurance adjusters and repairmen. You have ruined my day! Stupid women drivers!”
Finally, when he got back into his car and settled down a bit, he seemed to hear the Lord whisper: “There was your first bowl of soup!”

Share This On: