Journal Entry ~ 08/19/18

17 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.

Sometimes I think we can be intimidated by people in the bible. It's easy to read these stories and be amazed by the courage and strength these people had, but dismiss it because it was a different time or think these people had a different relationship with God than we do. Elijah was one of those men. He was a powerfully praying man. When I read the story of what he did at Mount Carmel to defeat Baal, I'm always amazed. He called on God to start a fire on a heap of drenched kindling in front of all Baal's prophets to prove that He was the one true God, and he did it at a time when he stood alone in his faith. He had such courage and such faith. Oh, to have that much faith!  How I would love to have enough faith to call down God from the heavens to prove His existence to my loved ones!  But those times were different, and Elijah had a relationship with God that was different than what I have. God chose him, so He's special. 

James specifically tells us here that Elijah was a man with a nature like ours to battle those very thoughts. He was just like us! There was nothing special about him, he wasn't given an extra dose of faith.  He was just a man who believed God would move despite what he saw in front of him. And he did it essentially alone!  

I struggle to muster up that much faith - the kind that calls down God from the heavens to strike up a fire, and I'm often surrounded by fellow believers!  God, forgive my unbelief. I want that faith. I want the kind of faith that will call on God to act in such a way that brings Him glory, and I want to know He's going to do it as Elijah did. 

So if he didn’t possess anything special in his relationship with God beyond what we have, why did God grant his prayer? He tells us if we read closely - the prayer was fervent. Fervent means passionate intensity, heartfelt, sincere. Fervent prayers go beyond just saying the words, fervent prayers come from the heart, and release with them all the emotion wrapped up with the request. Fervent prayers don't just hope God will act, they believe that God will act. Fervent prayers are not just shot up quickly, they are not said in our heads, they are out loud, passionate pleas with our God and father. 

One thing we need to remember if we want our prayers to be the prayers of a righteous person, it is our confession that makes us righteous before God. The fervency in our confession needs to match the fervency in our requests. Elijah was not a super hero, he was just an ordinary man, but he prayed fervently, and he received what he requested. 

Press on ~ you are loved 💗


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