Elijah the Prophet

“Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.” – James 5:17

The Biblical account of the Prophet Elijah and the three-and-a-half year drought (1 Kings 17) nowhere mentions that Elijah actually prayed for the drought; the account begins with Elijah announcing the prophecy to King Ahab. There is no known written source for St. James’ claim that the drought was in answer to Elijah’s prayers, but Jewish oral tradition does uphold Elijah as the ideal “man of prayer” whose prayers were always answered because of their fervency and purity.

St. James uses this sole example to exhort his readers to prayer and extol the effectiveness of fervent prayer.

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