Lessons from Elijah’s Prayer Life James 5:17

Lessons from Elijah’s Prayer Life James 5:17 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO


  • Have you ever been disappointed with your prayer life?  Have you seen all the prayer promises, but somehow think those don’t apply to you – you’re the exception?
  • In this lesson we’ll show some things about prayer from the prayer life of Elijah.

What Made Elijah’s Life so Unique?

  • Great men of God had great prayer lives.  But it’s not that great men of God happened to have great prayer lives, rather that the great prayer lives of these men helped them become great men.  James 5:16 – effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
  • WEIGHT ILLUSTRATION – the higher you go the more impact, the more force that weight will have on the earth.  The higher your prayers reach, the greater force with which God will use you to affect those around you.
  • Elijah lead a miraculous life.  7 miracles recorded being performed by Elijah
    • Stops the rain
    • Widow’s cruse of oil and barrel of meal lasted.
    • Widow’s son dies and is resurrected.
    • Fire of God on Mt. Carmel
    • Elijah restores the rain
    • Elijah burns up Ahaziah’s men
    • Elijah is taken up in a chariot of fire
  • No doubt he was unique and his life powerful, but WHY? Was it the miracles that made the man?  OR, did the man precede the miracles?  The man preceded the miracles.


James 5:17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are…

  • Why add that caveat?  Because it tells us that Elijah was just a man.
  • God is AVAILABLE for you and I just like He was for Elijah.
  • We serve a God who wants us to come to Him for help.  Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
  • Hebrews 4:14-16 – time of need.  When are you not in need of God’s help?
  • Regret is going to be with the Lord and realizing the opportunity that was set before us in prayer that we didn’t take advantage of. We serve a living God who says, Ye have not because ye ask not.
  • Answered prayer means you got a hold of the Creator of all things and He agreed with you and moved in a direction you wanted Him to.


James 5:17 … and he prayed earnestly…

  • You may be saying, “When I pray, nothing shakes or fire doesn’t come down from heaven.”  This isn’t the only time Elijah prayed about rain.  EARNESTLY doesn’t mean he prayed once and quit.
  • Continuous – Pray without ceasing. 2 Timothy 1:3 tells you it means you’re bringing the same things before God’s throne on a regular basis.
  • God wants to know if you’re serious about Him taking care of it or if you’re just delegating to him out of laziness.
  • Your heart is truly tried in prayer.  Pray without ceasing means you pray until there is an answer.  It means continually bringing the same thing before God until He has worked all the angles and answered your prayer.
  • How many people have you begun to pray for, but your praying has ceased?  Wouldn’t it be bad to know that God began working things out the minute you started praying and then stopped working when you stopped praying?


James 5:17…that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.

  • Elijah got a hold of God and God moved.  Prayer is powerful because God answers prayer.
  • You can know all the Bible you like, but a prayerless Christian is a powerless Christian.  The sword can be sharp, but if there is no strength to wield it, it lays there.
  • God moves on the prayers of His people.  Consider Moses.  God is ready to wipe out millions of people and Moses prays that changes the course of history.
    • Acts 4:31 when they had prayed the place was shaken
    • Acts 9:40 But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up
    • Acts 16:25 prayed and sang praises and there was a great earthquake
    • Acts 28:8 prayed and laid his hands on him and healed him
    • This kind only comes out by prayer and fasting.  The power of God was not at work because there was a prayer deficit.


  • Prayer means you’re ready to receive help from God
    • When your child comes to you for help they are in a position to receive help.  You have wanted to help them for a long time, but they weren’t in a position to receive that help.  Prayer is the position you take before God to receive His help.
  • Prayer is understanding where your help comes from
    • Turtle on the fence illustration.  Have you ever seen a turtle on a fence?  Well, if you ever see a turtle on a fence you know one thing immediately – he had some help getting there.  There are no self made men.  Everyone had help getting there.  A Christian understands where his help comes from.
  • Prayer means you have a true assessment of yourself