James 5:17-18 - 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 the heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.
By: Peter Ndikumana, HCPN 2018-2019 Resident, planting IMMANUEL Community Church
May 5, 2019
The letter of James ends with a call to fervent prayer. As he concludes his letter, James brings into our memories one of the most renowned Old Testament prophet named Elijah. James affirms that Elijah was just like all of us. Yet his prayer is still memorable. Such a prayer, James calls it a fervent prayer. How does a fervent prayer look and how can we pray one today? Let’s go back to some of Elijah’s prayers that are already recorded as we highlight three main marks of fervent prayer.
To pray fervently is to pray expectantly until you see the answer. 1Kings 18:41-46. After Elijah had stopped the rain for 3 and 1⁄2 years, he had to pray again for the rain to come down. Bowing himself down on the ground with his face between his knees, Elijah prayed and sent his servant seven times to check when the rain was coming down. He would not give up until God answers. This reminds me of the words of Jesus Himself about the parable of the persistent widow in Luke 18. You see, Elijah prayed with expectation; he had full confidence in the person and the power of God who was going to bring the rain. As Churches in Greater Houston let’s pray and expect a great awakening in our city. Pray and expect a powerful move of God that would leave all residents and all visitors , in Greater Houston city totally surrender their lives to the Lordship of Christ.
Fervent prayer has a single goal, for “God to be known”. When the prophet Elijah was on the mountain Carmel surrounded by 450 Baal’s prophets, Elijah prayed fervently “O Lord, answer me! Answer me so these people will know that You, O Lord, are God and that you have brought them back to yourself.” 1Kings 18:37. As Churches in Greater Houston pray fervently for our city, let’s have one goal, which is not to grow our church attendances, but that God’s Kingdom come.
Fervent prayer moves our emotions - O LORD, answer me! 1King 18:37 This is a prayer that is full of real emotion. Daniel prayed a similar prayer “O LORD hear! O LORD, forgive, O LORD, listen and take action!... Daniel 9:19. If the churches in Greater Houston were to pray a fervent prayer, we would be spending more time on our knees, weeping before the Almighty God on behalf of the lost in our city, “O LORD, save our City, our leaders, O LORD heal our land.
O LORD, forgive us for not interceding for our city as we should. Heal the brokenness of our city. May your Kingdom overtake the entire city of Houston. O LORD save our City for your glory. Make your Great name known Please help us to seek You above everything else, unify our churches, remind us that we are not competing against each other, but that we are one body called to worship One Triune God. May Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. In Your Son’s name, we pray, Amen.