If we are not careful, we can look at those mentioned in the pages of Scripture with an unrealistic standard for real world, day-to-day living. People like the prophet Elijah who performed many miracles, from raising the dead to calling fire down from Heaven can feel so far removed from the way we see ourselves and our walk with God. But, the New Testament writer, James, brings our perspective into check by simply pointing out that “Elijah was as human as we are”. He was just like us. He knew what it was like to be disappointed, depressed, and discouraged. He had his own struggles and battles that he fought every single day. So, what is it that made Elijah’s life so different from ours? How did he see such great miracles take place? The game changer was that he was a man who prayed fervently.
The reason that God did incredible miracles in Elijah’s life and many other notable figures in the Bible is because those people sought Him through passionate prayer. S.D. Gordon wrote in his book Quiet Talks on Prayer, “The great people of the earth today are the people who pray. I do not mean those who talk about prayer, nor those who say they believe in prayer, nor yet those who can explain about prayer; but I mean those people who take time and pray.”
As we embrace the call to fervent prayer, there is no doubt that God will do great things through us like he did through Elijah. Elijah fervently prayed, and it did not rain for three and a half years. Then he prayed again, and it began to pour down rain from Heaven. If God answered the prayer of an ordinary person like Elijah’s because he prayed earnestly, we can have confidence He will also answer us as we call on Him!
James 5:16-18 (NLT)
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops.