Elijah “Prayed for It Not to Rain”
THE prayer of a righteous person, one having an approved standing with Jehovah God, has force. It brings results. (Jas. 5:16) This is the point that the disciple James illustrated when he wrote: “Elijah was a man with feelings like ours, and yet in prayer he prayed for it not to rain; and it did not rain upon the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the land put forth its fruit.”—Jas. 5:17, 18.
Though a prophet, Elijah, as a man, was no different from any other righteous human. He had the same feelings, infirmities and imperfections. Yet Jehovah God answered his prayers. He will certainly do no less for his servants when they make supplications in harmony with his will.
It may be noted that the Hebrew Scriptures do not specifically state that Elijah “prayed” regarding the matters mentioned by James. However, there is evidence that he must have done so. Regarding what Elijah did just before the long drought ended, we read: “He went up to the top of Carmel and began crouching to the earth and keeping his face put between his knees.” (1 Ki. 18:42) Yes, Elijah assumed a position that would seem to indicate an approach to God in prayer. Logically, then, he prayed and also must have made supplication in connection with the declaration earlier made to Ahab: “As Jehovah the God of Israel before whom I do stand is living, there will occur during these years neither dew nor rain, except at the order of my word!”—1 Ki. 17:1.
Of course, the disciple James wrote under inspiration and so could set forth facts not specifically mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures but, nevertheless, in full harmony with those Scriptures. And Elijah’s praying is an example of this.
What James wrote about Elijah should encourage us to persevere in prayer. We can rest assured that we will receive whatever we ask for, provided that it is in harmony with God’s will.—John 14:13, 14.