Dear Praying Partners,
Thank you for being willing to share in the burden of prayer today for revival and our prodigals. The Scriptures remind us, “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results” (Jas. 5:16 NLT). This earnest prayer is called “the prayer of faith.” May God help us to continue to pray in a true, earnest, righteous, dependent, faithful manner, and patiently wait for the “wonderful results.”
James continues by talking about the experience of Elijah, the great prophet of Israel, who prayed fervently that it might not rain. God heard and answered. When he prayed the second time, God heard and answered. The character of a person cannot be separated from his or her prayer. Was Elijah righteous? Yes! Was he a man of faith? We know he failed at times, but yes! Was he earnest? Fully and completely earnest, yes!
His prayer was not only inseparable from his character, but it was in tune with the purposes of God for His people. The gross sins of king Ahab had led God’s people into dark places, and the prayer of Elijah for a three-year drought was in line with God’s disciplinary hand upon them. This man was close to his God. He heard the beating of God’s heart. This is the single greatest challenge in my life: To stay close to God’s heart! There are so many things to distract and draw us away from this precious place of nearness. In chapter 4, James gives us a wonderful promise, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”
We have the tendency to put a man like Elijah on a high unattainable pedestal of spiritual stature. The words of James in verse 17 are incredibly reassuring. He says, “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours.” The NLT says, “Elijah was as human as are.” We are all human. That’s a given. Let’s not hide behind our humanness as an excuse not to be effective in prayer, but rather in our weakness pray to the God of the impossible. The Lord Jesus, in speaking to His disciples about salvation, said, “With men it is impossible but not with God. For all things are possible with God” (Mar. 10:27). Be encouraged!
Bryan and Rachel