“The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.” (James 5:16b-18)
James speaks of prayer as he draws near to the end of his epistle. In this time of pandemic and social unrest many are praying for healing and relief both believers and nonbelievers alike. The latter, however, do not know the God who has revealed Himself in Jesus. They may pray to whatever god they may imagine, but they trust in science to solve the COVID crisis and even climate change. Not that science is bad or evil in itself, but prayer is a primary source of God’s help and comfort as well as the best means for drawing close to Him. People should be praying to God for strength to endure and persevere through all such adversity and crises.
In prayer we communicate with God. We tell Him our needs, secrets, fears, doubts, wants, desires and struggles. In prayer we strive to understand His will and increase our faith and trust in Him. We also pray for blessings and healing for our brethren. We pray for all others too that they would come to faith in Jesus and so be spared a fate worse than COVID-19: eternity separated from God in hell.
Prayer should our first resource in every crisis for, as James points out with His example of Elijah, it is extremely powerful more so then we may think. Science may be able to explain such things as a 3 and a half year drought but would dismiss the idea that it started and stopped because of Elijah’s prayer. But if we pray to God through Jesus He will grant us wisdom, grace, mercy, strength, and forgiveness and maybe even a miracle.