In the 9th century B.C., Elijah was a good person to have around. His effectual prayers for rain delayed Ahab, enabling Elijah to arrive ahead of the ungodly king and execute the false prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:41-19:1). Blood, gore, and slaughter notwithstanding, Elijah prayed for rain, and rain arrived, with a “sound of abundance.”
We need rain! Smoke from the lightning fires continues to linger throughout Washington and Northern Idaho. Visibility of the basalt canyon walls less than 10 miles from our home remains compromised, as does the breath of some people with health issues.
Elijah is gone from the world; the format of his prayer, in which “he bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees” is not necessary for effectual prayer. Elijah can, however, remind us that however we pray with real need and sincerity, we are heard. Whether or not our prayers are effectual is entirely up to the perfect discretion of God–as is the weather.
My camera has taken up a tourist photo proclivity–the sky directly above has a few streaks suggesting blue, but is predominantly ash-white. The photo also makes the hills much more discernible than they are to the eye. I promise, the smoke is really there!