Intercession and ordinary people

Intercession and ordinary people

The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. – James 5:16

James 5:17 Elijah was a human being like us, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain and there was no rain on the land for three years and six months!

1 Kings 17:1-2

 1 Now Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the settlers of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, surely there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.”

 2 The word of the LORD came to him, saying . . .

Rees Howells became a child of the King at the time of the Welsh revival in 1904. He was known for the amazing results he received through intercessory prayer. In 1924, he founded the Wales Bible College, modeled after the Moody Bible Institute. Rees Howells began to train students in intercessory prayer.

In the spring of 1942, Rees Howells and his group of 120 intercessors began praying for the defeat of Erwin Rommel, “the Desert Fox,” and the Afrika Corps in North Africa. Rommel posed a tremendous threat to the Suez Canal and the Promised Land. On July 4, 1942, Howells declared “Unless God will intervene on behalf of Palestine, there will be no safety there for the Jews. These Bible Lands must be protected, because it is to these lands the Savior will come back.”

Then Howells prayed specifically, “Unless there is a special reason for Egypt to fall, don’t let Alexandria be taken, but give Rommel a setback.” They spent the afternoon of July 4, 1942, interceding with the Father to save Alexandria and turn the tide in North Africa. Apparently, the prayer was answered almost immediately. But the results were only known the next day.

On July 5, 1942, the results of their prayer were dramatically revealed. The and remnants of the British Army, about 5000 soldiers, 50 tanks, and 50 or so field guns were all that stood between Rommel’s tanks and Alexandria. The Germans had far superior fire power. Then an incredible thing happened: “1100 men of the 90th Light Panzer Division, the elite of the Afrika Korps, surrendered. Their swollen tongues were protruding from their mouths. Crazily they tore water bottles from the necks of our men and poured life-giving swallows between their parched lips.”

Major P. W. Rainer, was responsible for supplying the British Eighth Army with water. Rainer explained why the more powerful enemy surrendered. The Germans had been twenty-four hours without water when they overran the British defenses and found a 6-inch water pipe. They shot holes in it and drank deeply. Only when they had taken great gulps did they realize that it was sea water! The pipe had only just been laid and Major Rainer had started to test it. Fresh water, however, was never used for tests on pipes – it was too precious. “Two days later it would have been full of fresh water. . . . The Nazis didn’t detect the salt at once, because their sense of taste had already been anesthetized by the brackish water they had been used to, and by thirst.”

Rees Howells was an average man who had way above average, great faith. His earnest intercessory prayer received a great answer. The powerful and effective prayer of righteous intercessors brought about a miraculous outcome. It literally turned the tide of the war in North Africa. Soon “The Desert Fox” left North Africa with his tail between his legs.

REFLECT & PRAY

“Prayers are heard in heaven in proportion to our faith. Little faith gets very great mercies, but great faith still greater” (Spurgeon).

Father in so many ways I am just an ordinary guy. I strive to have an extraordinary relationship with my extraordinary Father God. Please make it so.

INSIGHT

Elijah was the first Jewish weatherman. But he was no superhero. “Elijah was a weatherman for three and a half years, and for three and a half years he held back the rain! It did not come until he prayed. You are the same kind of person Elijah was. . . But he was a man who prayed with passion” (McGee).

James 5:17 Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years!

Elijah prayed earnestly! He had no ability in and of himself. He was an ordinary person. But Elijah had an extraordinary relationship with the Father God and great fervency in prayer.

In the Greek, the words translated prayed earnestly are proseuchomai proseuche. The word pray proseuchomai (a verb) and prayer, proseuche (a noun) are used side-by-side. This type of construction is common in Hebrew and Aramaic to emphasize a concept. It intensifies the verb. It is called a semeticism. The Greek could be literally rendered “he prayed prayer” or perhaps “he prayed with prayer” or “in prayer he prayed.” We might say today he prayed earnestly, he prayed fervently, he prayed powerfully, or he prayed effectively.

The point is that Elijah is just an ordinary person who knew the Father’s will of the moment and received extraordinary answers. It is possible for every child of the King to pray like Elijah.

1 Kings 17:1-2

 1 Now Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the settlers of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, surely there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.”

 2 The word of the LORD came to him, saying . . .

1 Kings 18:1 Now it happened after many days that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, “Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the face of the earth.”

Behind the visible events on earth, an invisible battle rages. The Father raises up intercessors to carry out His will and fight against the enemy in the spirit realm.

Prayer is actualizing, ushering the will of the Father into existence on earth as it is in heaven. The Father is always at work, and He invites us to participate. Praying earnestly that His will be done, is one form of participation. Earnestness in and of itself is not the key to getting answers. Rather it is discerning the will of the Father and earnestly praying it into existence.

“The Church has not yet touched the fringe of the possibilities of intercessory prayer. Her largest victories will be witnessed when individual Christians everywhere come to recognize their priesthood unto God and day by day give themselves unto prayer” (John R. Mott, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1946).

Are there any current events occurring right now anywhere in the world, our country, or your circle of friends and family for which the Father might be inviting you to intercede?

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