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James 5:17-18: Elijah Was A Man With A Nature Like Ours


James 5:17–18
[17] 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. [18] Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit. (ESV)

Do you have a favorite verse of Scripture? You probably have a few special passages from the Word of God that give you inspiration and hope. This passage is one my favorites. When it comes to prayer we sometimes feel like God will listen to everyone else but us. For whatever reason the enemy seems able to convince us that God is deaf to our concerns. This could not be further from the truth.

James reminds his reader of one of the greatest prophets in all of Scripture. Perhaps you remember the showdown between himself and the prophets of Baal. He told them that they should set up an altar with a sacrifice, and he would also set up an altar. The God who answered their prayers by raining down fire to light the sacrifice was God. God victoriously responded to Elijah's prayer by fire.

James uses this illustration of Elijah praying that it would not rain. It did not rain for three and a half years. He prayed again for rain, and it rained. Elijah was directed by the Holy Spirit when it came to his praying for rain. He had a relationship with God and as a result, he prayed in accordance with God's divine plan.

You need to understand that in the Bible even the heroes are flawed human creatures. The encouragement from this verse comes in the words, "a man with a nature like ours." You are no different than Elijah in your nature. Just as God was able to lead Elijah by his Holy Spirit, even though he was a sinful man, so also he can lead you in spite of your nature. He will listen to you.

What are you struggling with? Go to the Lord and pour out your heart to him. He will listen to you just like he listened to Elijah.

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