Let’s begin by reading 1 Kings 17:1, “And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.” Now let’s read James 5:17, “Elias 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.” We see that the rains had ceased for 3 ½ years because of the prayers of Elijah.

Then, we read in 1 Kings 18:1, “And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, shew thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth.” How wonderful it is to realize that our Creator controls the weather. We read in Matthew 5:45 that the Lord, “maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” According to His sovereign will, the Lord will send sunshine and rain on both the saved and unsaved.

In verses 3-6, we have Ahab calling Obadiah, his governor, that they might divide their cattle and search for pastures and streams where they might feed their animals in the midst of this drought and famine. We see that Obadiah was the governor of Ahab’s house, but he feared the Lord greatly. We see in verse 4 that the Lord had once used Obadiah to save 150 of His prophets from Jezebel, the wife of Ahab.

In verses 7-16, we see that Elijah meets Obadiah and sends him to tell Ahab that he was coming to meet him. Obadiah was skeptical of Elijah and afraid to take the message to Ahab, but he was finally convinced to do so.

We then read in verses 17-18, “And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim.” Ahab blamed Elijah for the drought, but Elijah properly returned the blame to Ahab, who had “forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim.”

In verses 19-39, Elijah proves that Baal is a false god and that Jehovah is the one true God. We then read in verse 40, “And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.” With this little bit of history given between Elijah and Ahab (I encourage you to read this entire chapter), let’s now read verses 41-45, “And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain. So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees, And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times. And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not. And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel.”

Yes, we find Elijah in much prayer for this rain. Indeed, there will be no victory for the servant of God without much prayer. Even though Elijah was told that the rains would resume, it still behooved him to empty his heart before the Lord, entreating Him to send the rain He had promised. Even though Ahab was preparing for a feast, Elijah’s work was not over yet. His earnest, humble, intercessory prayer was necessary. James 5:18 tells us, “And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.” May we be reminded of the power of prayer in James 5:16, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (296.2)