Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. 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 5:13–18)

I struggle to understand how Elijah was as human as I know that I am. I’ve read his bio in First and Second Kings, and to me he seems pretty super-human. I know I’ve never been fed by ravens or from a nearly empty jar of flour. I’ve never raised a widow’s son from the dead or called fire from heaven down upon an altar. I’ve never parted a river so that I could walk through it on dry ground. And, I’ve certainly never prayed that it might not rain, and for three and half years heaven dried up.

Regardless of these differences, the Bible says Elijah was a man just like me. And because he was human and utterly dependent on God’s good grace, he prayed fervently. And, the God who “does nothing but in answer to prayer” (John Wesley) came through dramatically for him.

If you are wrestling with a problem, pray fervently. If you are grinding with a life issue, pray fervently. If you need healing, pray fervently. If you need a bill paid or a loved one saved, pray fervently. If you are just plain sick and tired of things being the way things are, pray! Oh, and as you pray, remember this quote by Andrew Murray: “Beware in your prayers, above everything else, of limiting God, not only by unbelief, but by fancying that you know what He can do. Expect unexpected things ‘above all that we ask or think.’”

The Lord be with you!

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