In today’s Bible reading* we see Elijah do some pretty awesome things. But James tells us that Elijah was a man like we are. (James 5:17)
Those are comforting words. But I’ve never seen anyone call down fire from heaven to consume a sacrifice. I’ve never seen anyone call down fire to destroy people. (2 Kings 1:10, 12) I’ve never seen anyone part waters so they could walk across on dry ground. (2 Kings 2:8) And I’ve never seen someone caught up to heaven in a fiery chariot. (2 Kings 2:11)
Is this what James had in mind when he said that Elijah was just like us?
In the context of James 5, he has just told us that if anyone needs wisdom, he should ask God, Who would give without reservation. He encourages his readers to confess their sins and pray for each other to be made well. And then he says that the prayers of righteous people are powerful. At this point, he makes his comment about Elijah.
Elijah was a man. But he was more than a common man. He was a man of great faith. He prayed that it wouldn’t rain. And it didn’t. Then he prayed that it would rain. And it did.
So from James’ comparison of Elijah being like us, does that mean that we can pray for weather changes, expecting our prayers to be answered? I don’t see why not, so long as we’re praying in accord with God’s Word — just like Elijah did.
* Chapters covered in today’s reading:
2 Kings 1
2 Kings 2
2 Kings 3
2 Kings 4