I knew one thing: God had moved me here and now he moved in my heart to pray for my neighbors
After many days the word of the LORD came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, “Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain upon the earth.” (1 Kings 18:1)
After three years in Zarephath, moving orders came again for Elijah. This time his assignment took him to Samaria where he made an appearance before King Ahab. Read 1 Kings 18 to see how the Lord used Elijah here. God energized him as he prayed, “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back” (1 Kings 18:36b–37). At that moment, fire fell from heaven and consumed all that was on the altar. Shocked, the people who saw the spectacle declared, “The LORD, he is God: the LORD, he is God” (1 Kings 18:39b).
If fire from heaven were not enough, Elijah bowed again to pray—this time for rain. God answered this prayer as well and the rain that had not fallen for three years fell from the sky.
The apostle James wrote: “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit” (James 5:17–18). What good news! Yes, Elijah was God’s prophet, but the message of James is that the same power of prayer that Elijah demonstrated is available to you and me!1
I recall looking out the window of our little row house. Germany had been home for a few months and I was feeling isolated and lonely. I did not see how I could contribute to my military community as a stay-at-home mom. I spoke no German and had little hope to affect the foreign community in which I lived. One morning during my devotional time, I read an entry in Oswald Chambers’s My Utmost for His Highest in which he writes,
Your part in intercessory prayer is … to utilize the commonsense circumstances God puts you in, and the commonsense people He puts you amongst, by His providence, to bring them before God’s throne and give the Spirit in you a chance to intercede for them.2
Though I could not be sure of the opportunities this assignment would bring, I knew one thing: God had moved me here and now he moved in my heart to pray for my neighbors.
Sister, you do not know how God will use you when you move to a new location. Will he ask you to be a leader? Will you start a neighborhood Bible study in your home? Will you play a significant role in your military spouse support group? You may not be certain of the specifics, but you can be certain God wants you to pray with power, just like Elijah.
How can the words of Oswald Chambers, above, help you when you consider a PCS move?
Prayer for the Journey
Lord, one of the greatest gifts I can offer my neighbors is prayer. I pray you would bless them with health and protection. I pray you would provide for their needs and grant them peace. I pray their relationships would be healthy and strong. I pray they would know you and be strengthened in their faith. Use me as your hands and feet in every interaction with my neighbors. Amen.
1 Dan McCartney, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament: James (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2009), 260.
2 Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House, 1991), 236,