Fire from Heaven

Joel Sanchez 

What would you call somebody who has the ability to call down fire from heaven—on command?  Or perhaps someone who single handedly, almost on a whim, caused a drought that went on more than three straight years? And who with equal ease, was able to open the heavenly sprinklers and command the rain again?

In his letter, James makes mention of such a person.  His name is Elijah.  A common name for someone who can do some pretty uncommon things. James goes on to describe him in this manner:

“Elijah was a man with a nature like ours…”  (James 5:17a).

That’s quite a downgrade, if you ask me.  I don’t know about you, but last time I tried to call down fire from heaven, I wasn’t too successful.  And the crowd who gathered to watch me “make it rain” left dry and unimpressed.

But James doesn’t seem to think that Elijah was anything special, even with his ability to command fire and rain. Why not?  The remainder of James 5:17 tells us:

“Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain and for three years and six months, it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.” (James 5:17).

Over the past few weeks, we have been speaking about and encouraging you to pray, pray for people who are lost; pray for areas of your life where you need transformation and for situations that seem hopeless and impossible.

It was through the power of prayer that Elijah, a common Joe, became someone who outpaced his enemies, outshone his critics and outlasted his trials.  In the very same way, through prayer, you and I can do things that in our power and strength are nothing short of impossible.

Whatever trials and challenges you are facing in your life right now, through the practice of constant prayer you invite the power of God into your struggles.  So whether you need a marriage restored, a relationship healed, or a closed door to open, prayer can transform an ordinary person like you into an extraordinary example of the power of God.  So go ahead, don’t be shy, grab an umbrella and experience how prayer makes a common person like you accomplish some pretty uncommon things.

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