What does it mean to pray fervently? Elijah, the prophet, prayed this way and it didn’t rain for 3 1/2 years. Judgment was being exacted on Ahab.
17 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. 18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.
Remember Elijah would eventually be fed by ravens and drink from a creek as the Lord provided food and water.
Imagine being fed by birds. We get tired of eating out. Do you want Wendy’s or Arby’s or Hardee’s?
Yet, Elijah prayed and he prayed fervently. What does that word “fervently” mean?
Well, blueletterbible.org says this:
Here’s the Greek word for “fervently” (a.k.a. “earnestly”): proseuchē
Here’s the definition:
- prayer addressed to God
a place set apart or suited for the offering of prayer
- a place in the open air where the Jews were wont to pray, outside the cities, where they had no synagogue
such places were situated upon the bank of a stream or the shore of a sea, where there was a supply of water for washing the hands before prayer
Okay, are you scratching your head? Where’s the definition of “fervently?” I’ve always been told it means, “white-hot,” like heating up iron in fire and it turns “white-hot.” But, that’s the definition of the Greek word: proseuchē.
The simple definition is: “a prayer addressed to God.”
Can I ask you a question or two? Do you think it impresses God that you clench your fists and bite your bottom lip to the point of making your lip bleed when you pray? Do you think it moves the hand of God because you pray so hard that it causes wrinkles on your forehead where your brow is furrowed in prayer? Do you think God is obligated to answer our prayers only if we offer prayers on our faces with our noses to the ground? After all, praying a prayer in a chair can’t be as “fervent” as a prayer on our face.
I don’t believe “fervently” means any of that. It certainly doesn’t in what I’m reading and seeing in the Greek dictionary. It simply says: pray.
Just talk to the Father folks. Talk to Him. Tell Him your needs. Tell Him your concerns.
Have you ever heard the old song: “Have a Little Talk with Jesus”?
I love the third verse and chorus:
I may have doubts and fears, my eyes be filled with tears
But Jesus is a friend who watches day and night
I go to Him in prayer, He knows my every care
And just a little talk with Jesus makes it right
Now let us have a little talk with Jesus
Let us tell Him all about our troubles
He will hear our faintest cry
He will answer by and by
Now when you feel a little prayer wheel turning
And you know a little fire is burning
You will find a little talk with Jesus makes it right
Am I saying NOT to pray “hard?” No? There are times when we pray “harder” than others. Because of worry or fear or stress…yes…we might pray “harder” or with more intensity. Jesus told the parable of the widow who came to the judge over and over again asking and he finally relented. Yes, we should come to the Lord, our Heavenly Father and ask. But, remember something very important:
He’s your Heavenly Father.
He knows what you need. He’s knows what is best. Just talk to Him. Trust Him. Rest in Him. Rely on Him. He’s not a vending machine doling out answers to prayers. He’s your Father.
I pray you will be comforted today in knowing that your Heavenly Father loves you and cares more deeply about you than you could ever fathom. Even now…just breath a proseuchē to Him.
Blessings to you on a beautiful spring day!