Elijah had some students whom he was training to become prophets in the school of ministry and they were jealous of Elisha because he was very close to Elijah. They said among themselves that they did not think Elisha would have any power when Elijah was taken away. They talked among themselves and said ‘how would he cope’?
On different occasions different students of the school of Ministry came to Elisha and said ‘do you know that your master will be taken away today’? His answers were yes I know. On different occasions his master told him to wait until he returns but Elisha said no. When they got to river Jordan, Elijah removed his coat and wrapped it, he then smote the waters and it parted just as it did when the children of Israel were crossing the red sea. He and Elisha walked through on land, while all his prophets looked on from far away.
Elijah then asked Elisha, what he wanted him to do before he leaves for heaven and Elisha said ‘let a double portion of your spirit come upon me’ (2 Kings 2:9). Elijah said he has asked a hard thing but the condition is that if he sees him going up to heaven he will receive the spirit.
All of a sudden there were chariots of fire from heaven and Elijah was taken up and Elisha shouted my father! My father! Elijah disappeared into the sky and went back to God. As he was going his coat fell down and he picked it up. Elisha was so upset and he wept a lot, it was now time for him to go back.
When he got to River Jordan he did not know what to do. The prophets of Elijah were on the other side looking from him afar and wanted to know how he would cross. So many things would have been crossing the mind of Elisha. He might have been thinking whether to swim but he could not swim and he might get drowned. He might have thought whether to jump but then he would fall into the water and his friends will laugh at him.
All of a sudden Elisha said ‘where is the lord God of Elijah? (2 Kings 2:14). Immediately he said that the God of Elijah appeared and parted the waters and he was able to walk through it. When the sons of the prophets saw him they said indeed the God of Elijah is with him because he has the spirit of Elijah.They all came down to bow to Elisha and they had a lot of respect for him.
Elisha prayed this prayer because he knew that there was power in the God that Elijah served. That power is still available today, if you call upon Him, He will answer you by fire.