“Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your son lives.’ The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started off. As he was now going down, his slaves met him, saying that his son was living… and he himself believed and his whole household. This is again a second sign that Jesus performed when He had come out of Judea into Galilee” (John 4:50-51,53-54, NASB).
While Jesus was in Cana of Galilee, a royal official from Capernaum approached Jesus and asked Him to come to Capernaum and heal his son who was dying. Rather than accompanying the official the twenty miles to Capernaum, Jesus declared the boy was healed: “Go, your son lives” (vs. 50) and the man believed the words that Jesus spoke and returned to Capernaum on his own.
“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.
“Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel.” (Ephesians 6:18-19, ESV).
Although the Apostle Paul tells us the when, how, who, and why of prayer in these two verses, we should consider the context in which he is giving this admonition.
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever” (Ephesians 3:20-21, ESV).
A superhero is a person who has extraordinary or superhuman powers and is dedicated to protecting the world from evil.
“Now I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel preached by me is not based on human thought. For I did not receive it from a human source and I was not taught it, but it came by a revelation from Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:11-12, HCSB).
In his letter to the Galatians, the Apostle Paul refutes those who add or change the original message of the gospel he preached to them, particularly those who were teaching the Galatians to keep the requirements of the Mosaic law, like circumcision, to be justified before God.
“And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:26-28, NLT).
We often try to comfort someone who is suffering or grieving by quoting a phrase in vs. 28: “all things work together for good.” In the middle of tragic circumstances these words may provide little consolation to the one who is hurting. And the sentiment may even seem to trivialize one’s loss or grief (It’s almost like saying be happy because this bad thing happened to you.)
“Jesus stopped and commanded that he be brought to Him. when he drew near, He asked him, ‘What do you want Me to do for you?’ ‘Lord,’ he said, ‘I want to see!'” (Luke 18:40, HCSB).
We’re all familiar with the old saying, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” Well, that’s sort of what happens in this story.