Pray Without Ceasing
"The earnest heartfelt and continued prayer of a righteous man avails much with tremendous power available. Elijah was a human being with a nature such as we have and he prayed earnestly for it not to rain. And then he prayed again and the heavens supplied rain.” (James 5:16-18 AMP)
Martin Luther, a Reformation leader, expressed: “Prayer is climbing up into the heart of God.” Years later, John Wesley rediscovered what the early church had forgotten and stated: “God does nothing except in response to believing prayer”
Furthermore, it’s likely that both Luther and Wesley piggybacked on the prayer life of Elijah. Additionally, Jesus’ half-brother James became a latent disciple and penned ‘Elijah’s effectual fervent praying’ (James 5).
Elijah’s impact on the prophetic movement among the Hebrew people proved beneficial. He appeared as God’s instrument. Dripping with passion, Elijah pronounced judgment upon a wayward and wicked Israel. Because of widespread idolatry, Elijah knew that Israel had a mission to preserve. Namely, its’ religious system—-the worship of one true God—-in pure form without mixture of pagan gods.
Fortunately, we have the same access to God that our forefathers relished, and that Elijah came to rely on. Coupled with that, we understand prayer solves a plethora of problems, as King David discovered: freedom from fear, strength of soul, guidance and satisfaction, wisdom and understanding, deliverance from harm and fullness of joy (Book of Psalms).
Imagine Jesus if you will, spending long and lonely nights in prayer for his disciples, himself, and us. Today, we are commissioned to carry the torch that our forefathers began. “Go ye into all the world and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And surely I will be with you until the end of time." (Matt 28)