Elijah prayed and a dead boy came back to life. That must have been quite a prayer. The Bible in fact records exactly what Elijah said to God. Here it is: “My Lord God, please let this boy’s life return to him!” That’s it.
For decades I’ve been told the secret formulas of prayer. There was the 12 elements for 5 minutes each model… the A.C.T.S. technique… and the put on the armor of God and then rebuke the devil and then claim God’s promises in faith and then invoke the name of Jesus system to name a few. Of course there was the just pray harder and longer method. And crafting the request in just the right way seemed critical.
When my prayers did not achieve the results I’d hoped for, the only logical conclusion (so I thought) was that I had done or said something wrong. Perhaps a new book or a new teaching would reveal a better formula.
Elijah somehow sidestepped all of that. He simply asked God to do something, and a resurrection occurred.
The explanation is not in the prayer, but in the pray-er. God didn’t respond to Elijah’s words, God responded to Elijah. Even more astoundingly, the Bible says “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours.” Deep down in his core, he was nobody special.
It’s time to stop trying to find the perfect way to address God, and just rest in the truth that it’s me he hears – my heart, not my words. No doubt God still won’t always respond the way I want Him to. (He’s funny about that.) But becoming a pray-er instead of worrying about my prayers is a much more liberating way to live.