When faced with trials, unbelievers, like the widow in 1 Kings 17, often shake their fists at God. Sometimes, they make one of God's people, even someone close to them, the target of their anger. The widow says to Elijah, "What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?" (v. 18).
Elijah responds the way every Christian should: He does not return the anger but goes to God in prayer, relying on God's power to change the circumstances. God then uses Elijah to achieve the first resurrection in the Bible. God does this historical miracle in the home of a Baal-worshipping widow in the lowliest of places. It is a lesson that when we pray and depend on God's power, He will pour His resurrection power on the people and plans in our lives.
Elijah responds the way every Christian should: He does not return the anger but goes to God in prayer.
Elijah's intensity in prayer for the boy was effective as he literally put his entire being into intercession. God honors this type of wholehearted devotion in prayer.
Elijah also did not hesitate to ask God, "Lord my God, have you brought tragedy even on this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?" (v. 20). Asking God "why" is not wrong. Gideon did it when faced with the Midianites. Job asked, "Why?" when tragedy struck his life. Even Jesus cried out to His Father from the cross: "Why?" Yet they all knew that God is all-powerful and can restore health, life, and victory.
With the resurrection of her son, the widow finally knew God. She responds, "Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth" (v. 24).
Does Elijah's intensity in prayer inspire you?
Prayer: God, help me to pray with the kind of intensity with which Elijah prayed, believing that You will answer. Help me to devote more time, passion, and purpose to my prayer life. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing" (Matthew 26:44).