Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NIV Here are some distinguishing marks of a spirit-filled life—joy, prayer, and thanksgiving. Notice Paul has already been speaking about love: “Hold them in the highest regard...
Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. James 5:17 (NIV)
You can read this story in 1 Kings 17. Elijah prayed that it would not rain. And he must have been sure that what he prayed would happen, because he went into King Ahab’s court and said, “As the Lord, the God of Israel lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew not rain in the next few years except by my word” (1 Kings 17:1).
How did Elijah know that what he prayed would happen? We are told that “After a long time, in the third year, the word of the Lord came to Elijah: ‘Go and present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the land’” (1 Kings 18:1). So, it appears that on the basis of God’s promise, Elijah spoke to Ahab and then began to pray.
Because God revealed what He was going to do, Elijah was able to pray with great assurance. It is reasonable to assume that it was the same way three years earlier when the rains stopped—God told Elijah what would happen, and he prayed with assurance (1 Kings 18:42).
Have you ever prayed with this kind of assurance? Can you think of one thing God has said in the Bible that would allow you to pray with the assurance that what you were praying was God’s will?