“But Elijah climbed to the top of Mount Carmel and bowed low to the ground and prayed with his face between his knees. Then he said to his servant, Go and look out toward the sea. The servant went and looked, then returned to Elijah and said, I didn’t see anything. Seven times Elijah told him to go and look. Finally the seventh time, his servant told him, I saw a little cloud about the size of a man’s hand rising from the sea. Then Elijah shouted, Hurry to Ahab and tell him, Climb into your chariot and go back home. If you don’t hurry, the rain will stop you!” (1 Kings 18:42-44, NLT).
During this time of drought in our land we would do well to learn from the prophet Elijah how to effectively pray for rain.
In the prophet Elijah’s time there had been severe drought and famine in Israel for almost three years. Elijah prayed that God would send rain and end the drought.
There’s several lessons in this story we can learn from Elijah about prayer and specifically about praying for rain.
- Elijah knew it was God’s plan to send rain and end the drought (vs. 1), but for God’s will to be enacted still seemed to require the intercessory prayers of Elijah.
- Elijah didn’t just pray once and it rained–he prayed repeatedly and persistently (vs. 43).
- Elijah expected his prayers to be answered each time he prayed (vs. 43).
- Elijah was obedient and took action–he demonstrated his faith–once God’s plans started to unfold, by warning King Ahab about the impending rainstorm (vs. 44).
Notice, that taking action was the last step, not the first. Elijah didn’t take action until he had prayed and knew God’s will.
Effective prayer, then, requires intercession, persistence, faith, and action/obedience. And remember, you take action after, not before, you have prayed and know what God’s will is.
So, let’s pray for rain!
“The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” (James 5:16, NLT)