PRAYING THROUGH PENTECOST
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.
I have always loved what James writes about Elijah here in chapter 5 verses 17 & 18. He prayed, as the NIV states, "earnestly" and it did not rain for three and a half years. Think about the drought this would have caused, and did cause. We see this played out in 1Kings chapters 17 & 18. He prays a second time and the rain starts to fall. This is part of the situation where God shows He is God when it comes to those that followed Baal and worshiped this false god. It all culminates with the dramatic events on Mount Carmel. We see the power of God, the power of prayer!
But what I have left out up to this point is how James 5:17 starts. Elijah was a man just like us. I like this equally as much as the events that played out on the mountain in Israel. Yes, Elijah was a tremendous servant of God, but he was human just like us. The power that kept the rain in the heavens rather than falling to the ground was not of him, but of God. And so--though Elijah was a man and eventually died--the power from God did not.
We need to be just like Elijah! No, not climbing up the side of a mountain to call down fire to consume a sacrifice; but, by trusting in God. We need to be focused, determined, and intentional in our prayers. We need to step out and step up while falling to our knees beseeching God as we go forward here at 21860 Pontiac Trail. We need to be just like Elijah!
To help us stay focused in our prayers we will be praying from Easter through Pentecost. Pentecost was one of several festivals God instituted with Israel in order to help them remember the past as they looked forward to the future. From a Christian perspective, it was as memorable as the day Peter stood up to preach about the risen Christ when 3,000 people committed their lives to Christ and were baptized. The term means “50th” and refers to the 50 weeks and a day.
I want us to use this time of these seven weeks to focus on prayer. Each week during the days leading up to Pentecost we will have a different aspect of how we are to live and will spend time praying about those aspects that week. Let’s see what God can do through this congregation as we commit those seven weeks to prayer. After all, we are merely humans. . . just like Elijah.
Just a human,