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Summary: Sometimes it is harder to get the rain going that it is to have it stopped. Elijah had to labour in his prayer for rain.

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ELIJAH—A MAN OF LIKE PASSIONS

10 Praying for Rain

TEXT: 1 Kings 18:41-46

1 Kings 18:41-46 KJV And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain. [42] So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees, [43] And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times. [44] And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not. [45] And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel. [46] And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.

I. INTRODUCTION—A MAN OF LIKE PASSIONS

-The half-brother of Jesus, James, was a man of prayer himself, in fact, the early church referred to him as old “Camel Knees” because of the time he spent on his knees in prayer.

-It is in his epistle that he gives us another swirl of paint to the portrait that shows us who Elijah really is. He writes it like this:

James 5:17-18 KJV Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. [18] And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.

-We are well aware that Elijah was a man who prayed earnestly because we can be sure that the prayer on Mount Carmel, even though a fairly short prayer, was prayed in fervent earnestness.

-But James adds in a description that we otherwise might overlook. James tells us that Elijah was a man of like passions. He was a man who experienced all of the emotions of life, its ups and downs, and the joys and despairs that come to every one of our paths.

-Just because you are a child of God does not remove you from having to weather the seasons of life. Elijah shows us his passions:

• In a passion of anger at Ahab.

• In a passion of scorn and contempt for the priests of Baal.

• In a passion of fury against the idolatry in the land.

• In a passion against the organized religion of Jezebel.

• In a passion of prayer and intercession for rain.

• In a passion of despondency under a juniper tree.

• Passions of fear and faith, of love and hate, of humility and contempt, and of victory and defeat.

-Elijah is a man who would experience a near agony in prayer before he would see the assurance of that prayer being answered.

-Elijah’s example proves to us that he is a man of fervent prayer.

James 5:16 KJV . . . The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

-Effectual prayer, clean prayer, and holy prayer was an earmark of Elijah’s life. To this point in Elijah’s life there are three prayers that have been recorded to show us he is a man of fervent prayer.

• He prayed it would not rain.

• He prayed for the life of the widow’s son.

• He prayed for the fire to fall from heaven.

• Now, he is praying for rain.

-He settles the great pattern in all of our lives, there is a necessity of prayer! There is a blessing of walking with God in places of continual prayer.

-When the fire had fallen on Carmel, it proved a testimony to his prayer and now the waters are going to speak on his behalf as well. But it will be a much harder matter to get rain that it was to get fire.

II. PRAYING FOR RAIN

A. Drought and Desire

-Elijah and all of Israel had endured 3 ½ years of no rain. The nation had become a brown, dry, and dusty waste land that has killed both man and beast.

-In the heart of this prophet, there was a deep desire of Elijah to see God move. All of the citizens of Israel whether on God’s side or Baal’s side had at least been moved at times by a deep desire for God to show His glory.

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