1 Kings 18:41-46

41 Now Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink, for there is the sound of the roar of a heavy shower.” 42 So Ahab went up to eat and drink. But Elijah went up to the top of Carmel, and he crouched down on the earth and put his face between his knees. 43 He said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” So he went up and looked and said, “There is nothing.” And he said, “Go back” seven times. 44 It came about at the seventh time, that he said, “Behold, a cloud as small as a man’s hand is coming up from the sea.” And he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot and go down, so that the heavy shower does not stop you.’” 45 In a little while the sky grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy shower. And Ahab rode and went to Jezreel. 46 Then the hand of the LORD was on Elijah, and he girded up his loins and outran Ahab to Jezreel.

Elijah’s prayer for rain is an example of effective prayer grounded in faith. The story shows us that the answer to Elijah’s prayer was not immediate, as the prophet “went up and looked” seven times. When God finally answers the prophet’s prayer, it is with nothing more than a small cloud on the horizon that will eventually become a great storm.

Too often, when we seek to hear from the Lord, we anticipate the thundering response of a thunderstorm to break through in our situation. Elijah’s story reminds us there are times when we need to look for the call clouds on the horizon. This may be where God chooses to begin to answer your request. Elijah did not wait for the thunderstorm to respond to God and “Go up” to Ahab, and neither should we. Let’s stop looking for thunderstorms and begin looking for the small clouds that God chooses to send our way.

What small cloud does God desire to send your way today? Ask Him to show you the horizon in your situation, and let Him reveal the answer you seek.