James 5:16-18 – “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.”
It is especially during the Daniel Fast that we discover the power of prophetic intercession. Prophetic intercession is the ability to receive from God an immediate subject of prayer, and to pray about it in accordance with the heart of God, proclaiming words inspired by the Spirit and taking authority in His name. This is what James was writing about when he spoke of Elijah. A quick reading of the story that James is referring to shows that Elijah never « asked » God to make it stop or start raining.
The story is found in 1 Kings 18:41-45. « Elijah told king Ahab that he heard the sound of rushing rain. So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Mount Carmel. And he bowed himself down on the earth and put his face between his knees. And he 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. And at the seventh time he said, “Behold, a little cloud like a man’s hand is rising from the sea.” And he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot and go down, lest the rain stop you.’” And in a little while the heavens grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode and went to Jezreel.”
The prophet Elijah had received from God a revelation of His divine plan: to bring back the rain after a period of drought so that the land of Israel would produce its fruit and consequently expand its influence, by becoming a supplier to neighboring countries. The prophet had to prostrate himself before the Lord and pray before the will of God would be manifested! The Lord wants to use us in the same way.
The prophet Jeremiah emphasized the essentiel role of prophetic prayer as well: “If they are prophets, and if the word of the Lord is with them, then let them intercede with the Lord of hosts, that the vessels that are left in the house of the Lord, in the house of the king of Judah, and in Jerusalem may not go to Babylon.” (Jer. 27:18)
Let’s hear and respond to God’s call to deeper prayer, individually and collectively. Let us seek His face, listen to His voice, and understand what He wants to accomplish on the earth through our prophetic proclamations. Beyond simply pleading with God, truly expanding our influence means grasping our authority in the name of Jesus and bringing His reign to the earth. Don’t miss the opportunity to do so with your brothers and sisters!