Just like us!

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. (James 5:17)

I love the Old Testament. (You may have gathered that by now!) It's God's "picture book". The eternal truths of God's plan, revealed in the New Testament, are contained in the Old Testament in picture form. What the New Testament writers called "Types" and "Shadows".

The Old Testament is full of types of Christ. That much is obvious; you can find him on every page if you know how to look. But the Old Testament also contains types of other things, like the Church - types of us!

The greatest prophet, Elijah, is one such type. The most important one in fact. As well as being a real historical figure, he also plays an important role in revealing the nature of the church.

Elijah was a man with a nature like ours.

Once you realise this, there is a huge amount that can be unpacked. Enough for a whole series! The prophetic nature of the church. Its role in the restoration of all things. Preparing the way for the Lord's coming. Passing on the anointing to the next generation. Overcoming opposition. Miraculous provision. Beholding the glory of the Lord. Being caught up to be with him forever [visibly not secretly!] etc.

But among all these things that Elijah can communicate to us, James focuses on prayer. Elijah was a man whose prayers opened and closed the heavens. Likewise the Church has been given authority to bind and loose. When Elijah prayed, things happened! And that's exactly how it should be in the Church.

It's possible to pray, and then undermine the faith in your prayers by your confession or action. Like the believers in Acts who prayed that Peter would be released from prison, and then couldn't believe it was him knocking at the door!

When we pray we should believe in the power of our prayers. This is not the power of positive-thinking, but the power of biblical-confession.

The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (James 5:16)

As the song goes: These are the days of Elijah!

1 comment:

matthew said...

Is this some sermon trimmings Chris? - I certainly hope so!