The weather here in northern Alabama this past week or so has reminded me of that old saying, “Be careful what you pray for; you just might get it.” After an unusually wet spring and early summer, we had been in a dry spell for three or four weeks and were beginning to hurt for rain.
Then tropical storm Marko and hurricane Laura showed up bringing deluges over a wide area, including us. Now we continue to have fronts coming through with frequent local showers. For all of these we are very grateful.
When James wrote to encourage Christians to pray he cited Elijah as an example of the power of prayer:
Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit” (James 5:17-18).
That story is recorded in 1 Kings 17—18. When Elijah prayed for the drought in Israel to end, he warned King Ahab, “Go up, eat, and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain” (1 Kings 18:41), and again, “Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you” (1 Kings 18:44).
When God granted his prayer for rain to cease, it quit entirely and remained so for three and a half years. When he prayed for rain to be renewed, he prepared for lots of rain; he knew God could supply abundantly.
When we pray let us also be convinced of God’s unlimited power and also of his love for us. As Paul reminded Christians in Ephesus,
“Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21).
God’s power and grace did not end with the passing of the first century. We worship and serve the same God as did Elijah and the apostles. He has not changed nor has his love and care for his people changed (Romans 8:31-39). Through him we can conquer any enemy, overcome all adversity, and accomplish any divinely approved goal.
When any one of us lacks anything, “Let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting” (James 1:5-6).
Our God is almighty and all loving. Let us never hesitate to ask him for what is needed.