“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” – James 5:16-18
In his book Miracles in Black, Dr. John C. Wengatz tells of an African convert who was left at a new mission station to carry on the Lord’s work with a cannibal tribe. It was the dry season when Joao Mbaxi took over, but soon the tropical rains would be coming. Month after month went by, however, without a cloud appearing in the sky. Then came the time for the normal dry period. By now everyone was suffering, and many were on the brink of starvation.
In all the years they had worshiped their ancient gods, the rains had never failed them, and so Joao was told that he must leave the country and take “the white man’s God” with him. The courageous Christian refused to go. Then, flushed with anger, the chief sullenly warned, “If your God is as good as you say and so powerful that He rules the sky, why doesn’t He send us the needed showers? If it doesn’t rain by sunrise tomorrow, we will drink your blood and eat your flesh!”
Recalling the Biblical account of Elijah, Joao went to his hut and prayed for divine help with the same urgency as that of the ancient prophet. Meanwhile the members of the tribe waited for the dawn when the Christian leader would become the victim of their horrible feast. Just before daylight, thunder was heard in the distance, lightning flashed across the sky, and abundant rain refreshed the entire region! As a result, Joao was able to continue his work for Christ.
The prayer of someone who is totally dependent on the Lord is powerful! Today in prayer, confess any sin in your life and pray for something that is completely out of your hands for Christ’s glory.
“It is not the arithmetic of our prayers, how many they are: nor the rhetoric of our prayers, how eloquent they are; nor the geometry of our prayers, how long they be; nor the music of our prayers, how sweet our voice may be; nor the logic of our prayers, how argumentative they may be; nor the method of our prayers, how orderly they may be — which God cares for. Fervency of spirit is that which availeth much.” – William Lee
God’s Word: “Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.”” – 1 Kings 17:1
By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2004, Devotional E-Mail DEVOTIONS IN JAMES [email protected]