1 Kings 18

Elijah’s Prayer

36 At the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, today let it be known that You are God in Israel and that I am Your servant and I have done all these things at Your word. 37 Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that You, O Lord, are God, and that You have turned their heart back again.” 38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The Lord, He is God; the Lord, He is God.” 40 Then Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal; do not let one of them escape.” So they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.

41 Now Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of the roar of a heavy shower.” 42 So Ahab went up to eat and drink. But Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he crouched down on the earth and put his face between his knees. 43 He said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” So he went up and looked and said, “There is nothing.” And he said, “Go back” seven times. 44 It came about at the seventh time, that he said, “Behold, a cloud as small as a man’s hand is coming up from the sea.” And he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘[q]Prepare your chariot and go down, so that the heavy shower does not stop you.’” 45 In a little while the sky grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy shower. And Ahab rode and went to Jezreel. 46 Then the hand of the Lord was on Elijah, and he girded up his loins and [r]outran Ahab [s]to Jezreel.

Elijah’s prayer reminds me of something we talked about last night at Bible study. Which is this: we are supposed to pray for God’s will to be done. But that doesn’t mean He is just going to do it without us asking. If Elijah had never gathered the prophets and challenged them to a “duel”, God would not have sent fire from heaven. But it didn’t depend on Elijah, and it wasn’t his plan. It was God’s plan and He instructed Elijah what to do.

Likewise, when we pray, we first need to seek God’s will, which means we also need to be close enough to God to recognize (and hear) His voice when He reveals His will for that situation. If we go on praying for what we think is best, and it doesn’t line up with His will, naturally the answer will be “no”. If you want answers to your prayer, then seek God’s plan in your life, and for those around you. Talk with God regularly, so you can be ready when He calls you to take a step of faith. The faith we need isn’t always the strength to dream the impossible, but rather to pray for the impossible and believe it will happen.

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