James gives us some very important teaching on prayer in James 5:13-18. We are told that whatever we are facing…good or bad, we should pray. Good advice. The problem in the text is that the example given of a man of prayer is that of Elijah. However, Elijah, in our eyes, seems to be this amazing man of prayer. How can we be like him?
James, inspired by God, says Elijah is a man just like us. He was simply a normal person with no special dispensation from God.
So let’s look at a summary of the obedience of Elijah’s prayer life:
Elijah, because of his obedience, had an amazing response to his prayers. And Scripture says that Elijah was a man just like us? How can this be?
We can see the answer to this question when suddenly everything changes for Elijah in I Kings 19:
We can all tend to be like this side of Elijah from time to time – fearful, wanting suffering to end, mistaken about what is happening, and filled with self-pity. We can do that!
Here’s my point. Elijah was a flawed man. He had great successes and some failures too. In spite of some amazing answers to prayer, his life was not easy. The purpose of prayer is not to make life easy.
As Elijah learned, when we commit to obeying God and serving Him in prayer, we become an integral part of the purposes of God on planet earth. Elijah got in on some really good stuff, because he prayed. And we can too! As a matter of fact, I will tell you bluntly that God has made us for this.
To pray like Elijah means:
1. Praying prayers that are focused on God’s purposes.
2. Praying prayers that are filled with faith.
3. Praying prayers that involve acts of obedience.
Our job is to pray as Elijah did…with focus, faith, and obedience so that God will receive glory. The final result always rests in God’s capable hands.
David is a much sought after conference speaker both nationally and internationally. He serves on several Boards of Directors and committees focused on prayer, revival and evangelism including: