Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 18

Elijah prays for rain

1 Kings 18:41-42

Three years previously, Elijah told King Ahab that there would be no rain. The rain would only return to Israel when Elijah declared it (17:1).

Now, three years later, God had told Elijah that he (God) would send rain (18:1). That was why the events in chapter 18 had happened. Still, however, the rain had not fallen. The land remained dry, and the people were desperate.

Finally, at last, Elijah declared to Ahab that the rain was coming. In fact, there would be much rain. There were still no clouds in the sky, but Elijah knew it in his spirit. It was as certain as if he could already hear the heavy rain. In fact, it seems that he did hear it – not with his physical ears, but in his spirit.

So, Elijah sent Ahab away to relax and to enjoy a good meal. Ahab should be happy, because God had brought to an end the desperate state of his country.

However, Elijah did not relax. As a very holy man, he had work to do, in the form of deep prayer. God had used Elijah’s prayers to prevent the rain; Elijah’s prayers were also the means that God would use to send the rain again (James 5:17-18).

Elijah had separated himself from the king and from the people. With his servant, he climbed back up to the top of the hill. Then, he gave his attention completely to God. At such times, Elijah seemed to use his own body to express his prayers (compare 1 Kings 17:21). He was asking God to send the rain for the honour of his holy name (compare 1 Kings 18:36-37).

Next part: A battle in the spirit world (1 Kings 18:43)


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