“And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” – 2 Kings 6:17
In another event from the career of the prophet Elisha, the Syrian army, with its horses and chariots, had surrounded the city where he was staying. His servant was terrified by what seemed to be an unstoppable show of human force.
Elisha was not afraid, and told his servant, “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” It was at this time that he asked the Lord to open the servant’s eyes. Then the servant looked and saw the angelic force: “the hills full of horses and chariots of fire.” This led to a victory for the Israelite town against the Syrians, a victory which, humanly speaking, had seemed unlikely.
Those “chariots of fire” are memorable, of course, because they found their way into a poem by William Blake, and became the title of the famous 1981 movie, Chariots of Fire. It always excites me to see how Bible passages like this have produced phrases to shape our language and culture.
What is even more exciting is the meaning of the chariots which Elisha saw on the hills of Palestine. Those original “chariots of fire” embody the supreme and invisible power of God to bring blessing to his people. Since God’s power is everywhere, and he is always shielding his people, it is right for us to believe that such invisible chariots are on every hill.
Human arrogance might not think much of God’s invisible power. But if you think about it for a moment, doesn’t invisibility make God more powerful, not less?
God is “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20). Immeasurably more. That is the power we tap into when we pray.
Heavenly Father, you are able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine. Help us, knowing this, to bring our requests before you in prayer, confident in your power and your Fatherly care. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.