Prayer Focus: India

Bible Reading: 1 Kings 17-19

Scripture

Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!” But the people were completely silent. 1 Kings 18:21

Observation

This is the opening salvo in a cosmic competition.  Elijah makes a bet with the prophets of Baal; the first one who calls down fire from heaven wins and proves that their God is the real God.

The prophets Baal pray for hours and hours, Elijah taunts them with some pretty graphic language (it’s toned down in our English translation), and finally the prophets start cutting themselves, but to no avail.  Hours and Hours pass and nothing happens.

Elijah calls for his altar to be doused in gallons and gallons of water and keep in mind this was during a drought.

Elijah the prophet walked up to the altar and prayed, “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,t prove today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant. Prove that I have done all this at your command.

O LORD, answer me! Answer me so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God and that you have brought them back to yourself.”  Immediately the fire of the LORD flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones, and the dust. It even licked up all the water in the trench!  1 Kings 18:36-38 NLT

That quick, it’s all over.  Long story short, the Lord is God.

Application

So what does this event mean for us?  Should we be calling down fire from heaven.  Jesus rebuked James and John for wanting to do that (Luke 9:54-55).  Instead I think we can bring these lessons forward.

1. The Lord is God and we should follow him.  Elijah made the statement then and it’s true now.  If the Lord is God, and He is, then we should follow Him.  It’s that simple.

2. The Lord answers prayer.  Granted it’s not always that dramatic and sometimes the answer isn’t what we want, but He does answer.

3. People will go to great lengths to worship a god that isn’t real.  We should go to great lengths to worship the God who is real.

Prayer

Lord, I believe that You are God and I want to follow You.  I want to trust in You like Elijah did, help my unbelief.  I know that “great lengths” might just be doing everything I can to present You to my neighbor.  Give me the strength and courage to go where you send me and not second guess, or forget what You’ve taught me, or whatever else might hold me back.  Push me.  Amen.

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