He prayed earnestly!
“Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly . . . ” James 5:17
The thing which made Elijah pray as he did, was the man that he was. When our Great High Priest comes with the lighted torch of His grace, and ignites the wood of our being into a holy flame–then the sweet-smelling fragrance of our requests ascend acceptably to God, and bring down the benediction of His love.
The art of prayer, is a sense of desperate need! There must be a sense of need, and an earnest desire to have that need met.
“Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire,
Uttered or unexpressed,
The motion of a hidden fire,
That trembles in the breast.”
Prayer is a sin-killer. No one can sin and pray; for prayer will either make us cease from sin–or sin will make us cease from prayer.
Prayer is a power-bringer. It is the hand which touches the hem of the garment of Divine grace, and causes the life which is in the Divine One to flow into us.
Prayer is a victory-giver. Bunyan’s Christian found that the weapon of “all-prayer” was sufficient to wound and defeat the adversary who would stop him in his progress as a pilgrim.
Prayer is a holiness-promoter. It is like the gentle dew which falls upon the thirsty plants and causes them to be refreshed and to fructify.
Prayer is a dispute-adjuster. Let any two brethren who are at loggerheads get on their knees, and ask the Lord about any disputed matter–and they will find the Lord saying to their troubled spirits, “Peace, be still.”
Prayer is an obstacle-remover, as Peter found when an angel came in answer to the prayers of the saints, and delivered him from the prison of Herod’s hate.
Prayer is a Christ-revealer, for it clarifies our vision, and enables us to see unseen spiritual realities.
Prayer is the secret of a holy life! We cannot do without prayer. The spiritual life is born in prayer–and it flourishes, and is strong, as it lives in that same atmosphere!
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 are;
nor the music of our prayers–how sweet our voice may be;
nor the logic of our prayers–how proper they may be;
nor the method of our prayers–how orderly they may be;
nor even the theology of our prayers–how good the doctrine may be,
which God cares for. It is only fervency in prayer, which will make a man prevalent with God. Fervent prayer hits the mark, and pierces the walls of Heaven! “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much!” James 5:16