Praying like Elijah

‘Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit’ (James 5:17-18).

It is easy to feel insignificant. As individuals, we might feel past our prime, unable to contribute in the ways we once did. Our resources; money, time, energy, may all seem depleted.

Even when we look beyond ourselves to the community of believers to which we belong, we feel small and insignificant. Finances are tight. Our influence feels negligible. We long to see people saved, but it has been some time since that happened.

But what an encouragement we have in these verses! How surprising, seeing the great Elijah compared to little, insignificant us, and to find ourselves on level footing! He was a man with a nature like ours!

There was nothing in him that made him powerful. Nothing in him gave him authority over the skies and the rain. Yet he prayed, and God answered, God acted.

The power was not in Elijah, but the God who responds to the prayer of his people. We call on the God who reigns over it all. The God who does not divide his people into those he will listen to and those he won’t.

So, let us pray. Let us pray bold prayers. Outlandish prayers! Prayers for ourselves, the church, our nation, the world. Even if we struggle to believe it could ever happen, let us pray, remembering that we are just like Elijah, and God listened to him. He ‘is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think’ (Eph 3:20). Let us devote ourselves to prayer.