Wednesday, December 14, 2011

prayer and power

When Elisha came into the house, he saw the child lying dead on his bed. So he went in and shut the door behind the two of them and prayed to the LORD.
2 Kings 4:32-33

When looking at the miraculous ministry that followed Elisha, it might be tempting to see the accounts as magnifying the man. But the text is clear that God is at work in Elisha. He is nothing without God's work in him. He relies on God showing Him what to do, how to do it, praying for God to work.

This situation was particularly poignant. Elisha stayed in the Shunemmite home regularly. The woman convinces her husband to build a room just for the prophet's use when he visits. He is like a member of the family. In gratitude, Elisha asks her if there is anything she needs. When he is aware she has no son, God reveals to the prophet that she will bear a son. True to God's Word, she is blessed with a son the next year. But in childhood one day, the boy is stricken with a headache and dies in her arms. She sets his body on Elisha's bed, and journeys to Carmel to see the prophet.

Elisha returns with her and it is here that God does another miracle for this generous family. Elisha prays to God to restore the life of the child. Elisha's constant intercession eventually leads to a resurrection. The child is restored through the faithful prayer of a faithful servant for another faithful servant. Again, it might be easy to miss Elisha's prayer. It was not that the prophet alone resuscitated the boy. It was the power of God at work through prayer that made the miraculous happen in that home.

If we want to see God at work in our lives, we must pray. That is the biblical example and admonition. Even Jesus made it a point to pray to the Father. We cannot serve God and NOT live lives of communication with Him. God works in our hearts and in our circumstances as we surrender to Him in prayer.

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