The Shunammite’s son Part 3 The Prayer
Character in a time of crisis ( day 35)
So he went in and shut the door behind the two of them and prayed to the LORD.2 Kings 4:33
The second miracle that is shown in the account of Elisha and the Shunammite’s son, is the better known of the two in this passage. The raising of this young man to life once again. It is important that remember that the narrative in this passage takes place over the span of several years, and there is a gap of several years between verse 17 and verse 18
In 2 Kings 4 verse 18, we read that the boy grew, but then tragedy struck. One day in the fields, he is taken seriously ill. his mother’s first thought is to go to the man of God. To Elisha, she may have thought, ‘he was the one who had promised his birth, surely only Elisha can help me now ?’. Elisha asked his servant Gehazi to run to the boy. Gehazi does as he is asked but mechanically and without faith ( vs 31). In contrast Elisha takes it to the Lord in prayer first ( vs 33). Notice the order of priority in Elisha’s actions, Before there is the physical, there is the spiritual. Before He ever stretches out on on the boy, gives warmth and resuscitation, He has sought the help of God.
I believe that the way God works in the case of the Shunammite’s son is a pattern of how personal God’s care is of hurting people. And also a model for the church to follow in its caring for hurting, grieving people too. There is genuine concern for the woman and her son, in Elisha’s actions. Shutting the door, closing out all distractions, Elisha takes it to the Lord in prayer, in the room the woman had set aside for him. Praying to God seeking the help of the God whom he served, and physically touching the child, giving him the kiss of life. Elisha isn’t acting in ignorance, or with apathy, but with determined purpose, that the woman whom he had given the promise to before would not have her hopes cruelly dashed again.
The words of James 5:16 seem so appropriate for this passage “ The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much”. I cannot speak for anyone else, but Elisha’s persistence and faith in prayer put me to shame. There is something very challenging and convicting in looking at a character study of someone like Elisha. Someone like him called to the Kingdom for such a time as this and making God the priority in everything.