Quiet Time Coaching Episode 458 | New Thing Series — Part 13 | “Elisha’s Request” | Malcolm Cox

A new thing! I’m Malcolm Cox. Welcome to your daily devotional podcast anchored in Isaiah 43:19: ‘See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.’

We are currently looking at God doing a new thing in the lives of Elijah and Elisha. Today we explore Elisha’s request.

“When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?” “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied. “You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise, it will not.”
As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his garment and tore it in two.
Elisha then picked up Elijah’s cloak that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. He took the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and struck the water with it. “Where now is the LORD, the God of Elijah?” he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over.
The company of the prophets from Jericho, who were watching, said, “The spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha.” And they went to meet him and bowed to the ground before him.” (2 Kings 2:9-15 NIV11)

Elisha request was difficult and conditional

  • A difficult request – “you have asked a difficult thing…”
    • Elijah was not in a position to grant the request. Only God could do that.
    • ““It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” “ ‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”” (Mark 9:22-23 NIV11)
    • TJ spoke of praying ‘impossible’ prayers
  • A conditional request — “If you see me when…”
    • “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.” (James 1:6-7 NIV11)
    • Elisha took Elijah seriously and that is what enabled to God to answer his request.

For Reflection
It is hard to be certain of what Elisha was asking for. However, it seems to be something connected to a desire to continue Elijah’s work with an even greater demonstration of the power of God. It might be connected with the oldest son inheriting double the amount of the next son (Deuteronomy 21:17). Interestingly Elisha appears to have performed roughly double the number of miracles recorded as performed by Elijah.

Seeing our prayers answered often means asking for the difficult and conditional. The impossible prayers we pray tell us something about the vitality of our faith. And the conditional element is important because we must remember that God alone knows the right time, place and manner for our prayers to be answered.

Motives in prayer matter. James warns “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” (James 4:3 NIV11)

I hope you find your heart, your life, your congregation and your world inspired by God doing a new thing. Until tomorrow, take care, and God bless.

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“Carpe Diem” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License