v 1 Now Elijah, who was from Tishbe in Gilead, told King Ahab, “As surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives—the God I serve—there will be no dew or rain during the next few years until I give the word!”
Israel was having a pretty rough time under the rule of King Ahab. The previous chapter paints a grim picture. ‘Ahab son of Omri did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, even more than any of the kings before him … he began to bow down in worship of Baal. First Ahab built a temple and an altar for Baal in Samaria. Then he set up an Asherah pole. He did more to provoke the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than any of the other kings of Israel before him.’ It was time for God to intervene in the life of the nation, and Elijah was God’s man for the task. Nothing hugely dramatic at this stage (there was later!), he used the only weapon he had available, prayer. Hence James writes very simply ‘ Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years!’
As human as we are … prone to doubts and depression, loneliness and anxiety, and yet he prayed and was up front about that with King Ahab.I am sure you have said to someone ‘I’ll pray for you’; you meant it, and you did pray. Elijah was specific about what he had asked – drought until he asked for rain again.
Are our prayers so specific and definite that we have the courage to tell people what we are asking and expect God to answer?