What is this principle that’s eluded us for so long? The good news is that the key is recorded in the very passage we’ve been looking at for the last few posts. James goes on to illustrate the prayer of faith that he’s talking about.
Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.
In these verses, James uses the prophet Elijah as an example to us. Remember that this is in the context of the prayer of faith for healing. James mentioned it three times in the previous verses. It’s clear from his comments – Elijah prayed and the rain stopped. He prayed again and the rain returned.
According to James, this is the same type of prayer that will bring healing to the sick. What are we missing? Let’s take a look at the Scripture concerning Elijah’s prayer.
But first, I need to make a disclaimer. Sometimes we, as believers, get all caught up in new prayer “formulas”. You need to be aware, right from the start, that I’m not putting forth a new wording for prayer. On the contrary, I am going to show you a new kind of lifestyle that will usher in the move of God’s power.
Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.”
I Kings 17:1
This verse is the only one in the Old Testament that shows the events surrounding Elijah and the rain stopping. James said that Elijah prayed and the rain stopped. This is the verse he was referring to.
Have you ever prayed a prayer like this? Have you ever heard a prayer like this? As far as I can see, Elijah was talking to the king, not to God.
What exactly was the prayer in this verse? We need to understand that not all prayers fit into the “dear God” category. The scope of prayer is a lot deeper than we can fathom sometimes.
In this encounter, even though Elijah was speaking to the king, he was invoking the name of the Lord over the situation. He was speaking, on God’s behalf, to the king.
Prayer, in its simplest form, is invoking the name of the Lord into a situation. That’s what Elijah did. He was speaking out a divine truth to the king.
In my next post we’ll see what’s so important about this kind of prayer.
Question: How does this compare to your thoughts about what a prayer should be?
© 2016 Nicolas Zaccardi