The Power of Prayer

Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. – James 5:17

     There was a time when I rarely paid much attention to weather reports. Then one day I received a phone call from a friend who was aware of my habit of ignoring weather news.

     She said, “Did you know that there is a hurricane headed your way?”

     She knew very well that I didn’t have a clue.

     “There is?” I responded.

     “Yes.” She answered.

     “Should we evacuate?”


     After our brief conversation, I consulted my family and we decided to pray and seek the Lord for guidance. We felt a peace about not evacuating, so we stayed put. The hurricane eventually changed direction and headed out to sea.

     Two weeks later we were visiting a retreat center in Massachusetts. The manager there told me that the hurricane had been approaching while they were right in the middle of their annual Christian music festival. He told me that he made the announcement to the crowd that the storm was coming and he said, “Let’s pray that the hurricane makes a sharp right jog out to sea.”

     Everybody raised their hands toward the direction where the storm would make landfall and they prayed. The storm made a sharp right jog out to sea.

     The manager was listening to the radio shortly afterward and heard the weather man report that the storm had made “a sharp right jog out to sea.” He used the exact same words that the retreat manager had used. It was the Lord’s way of letting us know that He had heard the prayers of His people and responded.

     This incident reminded me of another weather prayer that was answered years earlier when I was living in California. A large storm was approaching and the sky was smothered by an ominous black canopy of clouds. We were living in a vulnerable little camper and we looked at the approaching storm with a great deal of anxiety. We prayed in Jesus' name for God to dissipate whatever it was that was headed our way. Then we watched as the clouds slowly disappeared, relinquishing its position above our heads in submission to a lovely non-threatening blue sky.

     The storm had been clearly visible on the radar and people were being warned, then nothing happened. I checked the radio and heard the weather reporter say, “Mother nature is playing tricks on us.”

     We knew we weren’t the only Christians praying, and we were rejoicing that we had been spared from whatever was about to pounce on us from that threatening sky.

     God hears the prayers of His people. He wants us to have the faith to believe that whatever storms that are headed our way, weather related or otherwise, we have been given the power through prayer and faithful obedience, to avert or diminish impending disasters.

     I’ve since learned it’s important to be aware of what’s happening in the climate around me, in the world and in the sky. I pray accordingly and expect results when I do.

     God’s word shows us that His people have something in common with the prophet Elijah – we’re human with flaws, but God hears the prayers of His children.

     What storms are headed your way today? Have faith and pray.

Copyright 2015 by H. D. Shively

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