So Ahab went up to eat and drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; then he bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees, and said to his servant, "Go up now, look toward the sea." So he went up and looked, and said, "There is nothing." And seven times he said, "Go again." Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, "There is a cloud, as small as a man's hand, rising out of the sea!"
Seven Times Praying
Concerning answers to prayer George Mueller wrote, "Never give up until the answer comes. I have been praying every day for 52 years for two men, sons of a friend of my youth. They are not converted yet, but they will be! . . . The great fault of the children of God is that they do not continue in prayer; they do not go on praying; they do not persevere. If they desire anything for God's glory, they should pray until they get it."
Elijah believed in persistent praying. Seven times he bowed in prayer; seven times he sent his servant to see if God had answered yet. While there is nothing magical about the number seven, it is the number associated with completeness in the Bible. When this seventh prayer was offered, the servant came back with the report that a cloud was on the horizon. Elijah kept praying until his prayer was completed.
A prayer is never complete until God has answered. We need to keep praying until we have the assurance in our hearts that God's answer has been given or is on the way. To stop praying too soon may forfeit the very thing we're praying for.
Don't be a quitter. Keep on with your prayers until they're complete. Let God's answer be your final amen! Oh, those two men for whom George Mueller prayed for so long? One became a Christian at Mueller's funeral; the other some years later. Keep on praying.
Prayer is never complete until God has answered.