The effective prayer of a righteous man avails much

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“The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power” James 5:16b

Elijah’s prayer (a righteous man praying fervently) 1 Kings 18

Baal worship was widespread in Israel under the influence of Ahab, and Jezebel his wife had decided to kill all the prophets of the Lord.

Elijah went before the king and challenged 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah, together with all the people, in order for each side to cry out and reveal who was the true God.

The people were indecisive and were trying to reconcile both service and worship of God with Baal. The main sin of the people was not rejecting the worship of God but thinking that they could combine it or share it. God is jealous and does not share His glory and majesty with anyone. (Exodus 34:14, Nahum 1: 2). God is majestic, sublime, excellent and nothing in all creation compares to Him.

But how many times we have believed the same thing as the people of Israel? How easily we build idols in our hearts and think we can serve and worship Christ together with them? What fools we are when we believe that God will tolerate or allow something like this. The lack of faith or indecision is simply the result of not growing in knowledge of Christ every day. How much time do you spend daily in the Word to know the attributes of the Lord and delight in His greatness?

At the end of this story we see how God answered Elijah's prayer by throwing fire from heaven that consumed the bull, the wood, the stones and dust (1 Kings 18:38), proving once again that He alone is God and that only he is Almighty and Sublime.

Elijah prayed to the true God, repaired the altar to offer sacrifices to the Lord, worshiped only God and he recognized the lordship of Christ over his life and his status before Him. At all times he understood that everything was done by the hand of God, there was not vainglory but there was humiliation. He also had the right motivation to pray that God be glorified and honored. 1 Kings 18:36

What can we learn from Elijah's prayer?

  • Pray that Christ be glorified and not me being glorified and admired by others.
  • Pray according to God's will and not on our own passions and desires. James 4: 2-3 states: “You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.  And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong you want only what will give you pleasure. "
  • Stop to hear the voice of God as we pray. God led Elijah at all times, Elijah was mindful to the Lord’s direction and believed by faith all that He said to do.
  • No doubt in the heart “But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do."(James 1: 6-8)
  • Pray fervently without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
  • The only way God can see us righteous is through faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:22), a person who has not given his life to Christ cannot pray effectively and strongly.
  • Recognize that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13: 8) God is immutable never changes and all his attributes are eternal.

Implementation

  • Are you mortifying your flesh and idols in your heart for Christ to be the center and all in your worship?
  • Is your life anchored in the solid rock which is Christ, or you are with one or two feet in the world, undecided as the people of Israel?
  • Do your prayers glorify Christ, exalt him with all your soul when you pray? Do you give thanks for all his kindness in your life? Do you ask God for others rather than by your own interests and desires? What is your real motivation to pray?

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  • Petra Bible Church
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    Managua, Nicaragua
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