Bible Verse: “Elijah was a man like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain for three and a half years. Again, he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” James 5:17-18

Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 17:1-24, 1 Kings 18:1-46

Whenever I read the story in 1 Kings 17-18, I am initially in awe. One man earnestly made prayer requests, and they were granted. First, he prayed for no rain. Then he prayed, and it rained. Think about this: Not a hundred men, not five men – one man!

Since God is continually seeking intercessors, Elijah answered that invitation. But there was an indispensable condition to the prayer requests being granted: It was Elijah’s faith. Prayers without faith are incomplete. Elijah had faith. Simple prayers of faith, all answered. But what if Elijah had quit after, say, three attempts? Or six? He didn’t. Rather, he prayed earnestly. Earnest prayer gained the results.

James points out in the verse 17 that “Elijah was a man just like us” – meaning he was an ordinary guy. That’s what I am, just an ordinary guy. The importance of this is that the power of God is released through prayer. It was God who held back the rain, caused it to rain again, and lit up the altars with fire.

The message in the text is this: to simply teach us that an ordinary guy who has faith, who prays earnestly and persistently, will release tremendous power. James 5:16b states, “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” God is seeking people of faith to intercede on behalf of others.

When you read about Elijah, do you think: “I could never pray like that.” Are you in awe of him? Time to stop thinking these thoughts and start praying earnestly.

— Rick Verkerk, Director, Conferences, Promise Keepers Canada

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