Scripture Reading: James 5:17-18
The Prophet Elijah is one of the most interesting and charismatic of all biblical characters, whose life was characterized by fasting and prayer. Elijah is well known to be like a superhero in the eyes of many. His exploits were spectacular and remarkable, and he was a celebrated prophet; whom God gave an incredible assignment and great amazing demonstrations of God’s miraculous power. James uses the prophet Elijah as an illustration of a man whose earnest prayers got favorable and remarkable results from God. It is absolutely true that Elijah was an outstanding prophet of all time, yet it is also absolutely true that Elijah was a man just like us.
Dear friends, Elijah was subject to the similar feelings, experiences and weaknesses just as we feel. In his fear and depression he called out to God to end his life. Elijah got wearied, discouraged, lonely, despised, unappreciated and was ready to give up and through his life, he learned that in prayer, a man can move God. St. James wants us to know that if God answered Elijah’s prayers and he was no different from us, just so He would answer our prayers. All of God’s saints, were human like us, but became mighty through prayer. With prayer Elijah stayed connected to God, upheld the glory of the God in the contest with prophets of Baal, confronted wickedness in the high places (King Ahab and Jezebel), caused nature to honour his pronouncement, and sustained his spiritual victory.
Just like our Lord Jesus Christ, many saints of old were men and women who spent considerable time in prayers. They were conscious of the fact that the challenges facing them can only be solved through focused prayers. Canon Liddon says that Charles Simeon devoted the hours from four till eight in the morning to God. Mr. Wesley spent two hours daily in prayer. He began at four in the morning. John Fletcher stained the walls of his room by the breath of his prayers. Luther said: “If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning, the devil gets the victory through the day.” Archbishop Leighton said, “Prayer and praise are my business and my pleasure.” Bishop Ken was so much with God that his soul was said to be God-enamored. He was with God before the clock struck three every morning. Bishop Asbury said: “I propose to rise at four o’clock as often as I can and spend two hours in prayer and meditation.”
Our ability to stay with God in our closet, measures our ability to stay with God out of the closet. Tarrying in the closet instructs and wins. We are taught by it, and the greatest victories are often the results of great waiting–waiting until works and plans are exhausted. Silent and patient waiting gains the crown. God calls you to a new dimension in prayer through our upcoming 21 days of almsgiving, fasting and prayer programme. Begin your year in the spirit of fasting and prayer as Elijah of old. Elijah the great hero of prayer was a man like us.
1. Begin your prayer with this song: “I need Thee every hour, Most gracious Lord; No tender voice like Thine, Can peace afford. (Chorus): I need Thee, oh, I need Thee; Every hour I need Thee; O, bless me now, my Savior! I come to Thee”
2. Jeremiah was given the authority to pull down, destroy, cast down and overthrow anything that will hinder the fulfillment of God’s purpose in his life. Father, I pull down, destroy, cast down and overthrow every hindrance against divine fulfillment in my life, family, career and destiny in Jesus name!
3. Make this faith declaration: In this New Year, I am marching forward, I will not go back, depression, rejection, and loss are not my portion; advancement, promotion, increase are mine. I enter into my possessions, God’s plan for me, my family and destiny will come to fulfillment, in Jesus mighty name. Health is mine, joy is mine, peace is mine, love is mine, supernatural progress is mine in Jesus name, I overcome every wall, obstacle, delay, repression, sidelining along my way in Jesus mighty name! Amen
4. Pray for the grace to participate in the upcoming 21 days almsgiving, fasting and prayer programme.
Exercise: Pray the Rosary of Divine mercy in preparation for the 21 days almsgiving, fasting and prayer programme.
Memory Verse: Luke 18:1