We all have something to learn from this young girl.
As a drought continued for what seemed an eternity, a small community of farmers was in a quandary as to what to do. Rain was important to keep their crops healthy and sustain the townspeople’s way of life.
As the problem became more acute, a local pastor called a prayer meeting to ask for rain.
Many people arrived. The pastor greeted most of them as they filed in. As he walked to the front of the church to officially begin the meeting he noticed most people were chatting across the aisles and socializing with friends. When he reached the front his thoughts were on quieting the attendees and starting the meeting.
His eyes scanned the crowd as he asked for quiet. He noticed an eleven year-old girl sitting quietly in the front row. Her face was beaming with excitement. Next to her, poised and ready for use, was a bright red umbrella. The little girl’s beauty and innocence made the pastor smile as he realized how much faith she possessed. No one else in the congregation had brought an umbrella.
All came to pray for rain, but the little girl had come expecting God to answer.
James refers to Elijah’s expectant praying. He wrote, “And he prayed again and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit (James 5:18).” E.M. Bounds calls Elijah’s prayer “expectant prayer.” He wrote, “Elijah was watchful for results, looking for the answer. He had the inward assurance of the answer even before he had the rain.”
We must pray, not only asking with strong desire – begging and craving – but also with hearts that overflow with expectancy and faith.