SEPARATED, ANOINTED, AND CALLED
IN THE CHAMBER OF PRAYER
By Robin St. Clair
2 Kings 9:1-13 “And Elisha the prophet called one of the children of the prophets, and said unto him, Gird up thy loins, and take this box of oil in thine hand, and go to Ramothgilead: And when thou comest thither, look out there Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi, and go in, and make him arise up from among his brethren, and carry him to an inner chamber; Then take the box of oil, and pour it on his head, and say, Thus saith the LORD, I have anointed thee king over Israel. Then open the door, and flee, and tarry not. So the young man, even the young man the prophet, went to Ramothgilead. And when he came, behold, the captains of the host were sitting; and he said, I have an errand to thee, O captain. And Jehu said, Unto which of all us? And he said, To thee, O captain. And he arose, and went into the house; and he poured the oil on his head, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I have anointed thee king over the people of the LORD, even over Israel. And thou shalt smite the house of Ahab thy master, that I may avenge the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the LORD, at the hand of Jezebel. For the whole house of Ahab shall perish: and I will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel: And I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah: And the dogs shall eat Jezebel in the portion of Jezreel, and there shall be none to bury her. And he opened the door, and fled. Then Jehu came forth to the servants of his lord: and one said unto him, Is all well? wherefore came this mad fellow to thee? And he said unto them, Ye know the man, and his communication. And they said, It is false; tell us now. And he said, Thus and thus spake he to me, saying, Thus saith the LORD, I have anointed thee king over Israel. Then they hasted, and took every man his garment, and put it under him on the top of the stairs, and blew with trumpets, saying, Jehu is king.
Matthew 6:5-6, “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”
The separation of Prayer
When you and I read the words of Christ in Matthew 6:5-6, there are many things that might come to the forefront of our minds. We may think about the importance of shutting out the business of this world. We may think about the Father being the focus of our prayers. Or we may even think about the “concealment” of the Father, which the word “secret” means here. There is no doubt that all of these thoughts are accurate and beneficial to the spiritual life, however, I would like to shine light upon the separation of prayer that Christ alludes to in this text. He says “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into the closet (or chamber)”. According to John Gill’s commentary “The meaning of the Savior is, that there should be someplace where we may be in secret - where we may be alone with God. There should be some “place” to which we may resort where no ear will hear us but “His” ear, and no eye can see us but His eye”. You see, I have found that there must be separation in the life, before true prayer is ever genuinely experienced. This separation is not only about physical separation. It includes many types of separation. I believe we would all agree that we have been able to be separated in prayer, even in “prayer meetings”, when others have been present. As we look at the life of Jehu, we understand that “separation” was vital for him to hear from God. When the prophet Elisha sent the “young prophet” to Jehu, he gave him certain instructions, and one of these instructions was that Jehu must “separate himself from his brethren”. The actual words used are “make him arise up from among his brethren, and carry him to an inner chamber”. In other words Jehu had to separate himself. He could not stay where he was and hear from God the way God desired for him to hear. There is little doubt in my mind that if a person is not willing to separate themselves then they are not truly desiring to hear from God. In Matthew 6 I believe this is what Christ is speaking to us about. He desires that we understand that prayer is personal, prayer is a commitment, and prayer means that we must separate ourselves “from our brethren”, that He can speak directly to us. There is no other way than the way of separating ourselves. Jehu had a choice. He could have sat there with the others and complained and discussed how his generation needed to be changed, however, nothing would have come of it other than fleshly arousals. He had to separate himself. You and I must not be concerned with what the “other captains” are doing. God’s Word to us is “To thee, O captain”. He is dealing with us on an individual and personal level when it comes to separation. May we not get caught up in what others are doing, but only be concerned with what God wants us to do. Christ gave us this example as well, Luke 5:16 “And Jesus withdrew (separated) himself into the wilderness, and prayed.”
The anointing in Prayer
We understand that the “anointing” oil in the Old Testament was a type of the Holy Ghost. Wherever we find the “anointing” oil being poured out on someone we understand that God is “empowering” that person for service. We find this reality in the “anointing” oil being poured out on David (1 Samuel 10:1 “Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the Lord has anointed you to be Captain over His inheritance?”), and countless other experiences in the Old Testament. We even find that it was in an Upper Room where the early disciples were given in prayer that the Holy Ghost was poured out upon them. We find in Jehu that God had a “special” mission for him. It was a mission that could only be carried out by the power of the Holy Ghost. He could not fulfill that mission in his own strength, his own power, or his own ability. Everything he was going to do for God was going to have to come by way of the Spirit. Oftentimes, this “empowering”, this “anointing” is neglected. We feel at times that God’s work can be done, simply because we have “separated” ourselves. However, I am convinced that without the “anointing” Jehu would have succumbed to the “pressures” of Jezebel, and without the Holy Ghost the early believers would have failed miserably. When Christ told the early disciples to tarry He did not just tell them to tarry. He told them to tarry “until” they be endued with power. It was the “empowerment” of the Spirit of God that the early church needed to fulfill the Great Commission. It is the same with you and I. May we never think this “Jezebel” generation can be brought low independent of the Spirit of God.
The calling in Prayer
In looking at the life and experience of Jehu as our example of prayer, we can glean that it is in the place of prayer where direction is given. We find that “after” Jehu separated himself, and allowed himself to be “anointed”, he was then given special instructions. Scripture lets us know that God gave him a very detailed calling. It was his marching orders if you will. It was an assignment that was particular to Jehu. We must realize that it is in the place of prayer where God gives us clear direction. Many people want clear direction from God while they are still surrounded by other captains, but I have found that it is when I separate myself in prayer that God gives me my marching orders. They are not given while I’m surrounded by the cares of this life, but when I am alone with God. You see, when God spoke to Jehu about his “ministry” direction, his “family” direction, and his “personal” direction He did not leave it up to misinterpretation. When Jehu left that “inner chamber” he knew exactly what God desired for him to do. There was no “wondering” in his heart and mind after this experience. I believe this type of confidence in Gods purposes only comes out of a life of prayer. If we neglect time in prayer may we not think that confidence will be our portion. Confidence in God’s Word is developed in the prayer chamber as His Word is revealed to our lives.
The obedience of Prayer
The last thing I would like to point out in Jehu’s experience is that Jehu “immediately” obeyed what was spoken to him in the “inner chamber”. In the latter part of 2 Kings 9 it lets us know that a watchman on the wall identified Jehu by the way that he drove his chariot. It says “the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for he driveth furiously”. In other words, Jehu was going as fast as his chariot could take him, that God’s Word to him could be obeyed as quickly as possible. I have found that there are many things that you and I can be known for, but one thing I pray that we are known for, is the way that we “swiftly” obey the Word of God. It should be said of every church and believer “They obey the Word of God furiously!”. In preaching the message “Soldiers” Pastor B.H Clendennen would often say “those that did not obey instantly are no longer here to talk about it”. How true this statement is, spiritually speaking! In looking over the church for several years one thing that I have found, that is very troubling to me, is that many people pray, however, oftentimes they pray with no intent of obeying what was spoken to their heart and lives in prayer. It is almost unthinkable to think that Jehu could have brushed off what God had spoken to him, and in doing so allowing Jezebel to live one moment longer than God intended. We must realize that this could have been the case, if God would have spoken to Jehu, only for him to have put off for another day what God wanted to be done today. You see, it is quite possible, that if Jehu would have waited for another day to obey, the impact of the great experience he had had in the “inner chamber” could have faded away. As the days went on the devil could have planted question marks in Jehu’s head concerning what God had spoken to him, “Hath God said” could have puzzled his spirit. We must forever conclude in our hearts that what God is looking for in our lives is instant obedience. When He speaks to us in prayer, may we be found in life obeying what He said to do “Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it”. May we be known as those who “furiously obey the Word of God”.
*Jehu went into the “inner chamber” a captain, but he came out a king. I am convinced that prayer changes the disposition of a man. We may go into the “inner chamber” one way, but we can be confident we will come out another.