November 21 – 35 Prayers in the Bible – Elijah

Read 1 Kings 18:17-46

Elijah was a prophet of God.  Prophets had the difficult task of speaking God’s truth to people that didn’t really want to hear it.  It’s fascinating to read their accounts in God’s word and see their faith and courage in action.  Sometimes questioning God themselves, they kept taking steps of faith, waiting on God to come through.

The king, at the time of our passage, was Ahab.  I Kings 16:30 tells us he ” . . .did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of the kings before him.”  I wouldn’t want to tell him anything he didn’t want to hear, but Elijah did.  Ahab, his wife, Jezebel, and his family were worshiping Baal instead of God and it was causing Israel a ton of problems.

Elijah sets up a ‘battle of the gods,’ if you will.  He presents the opportunity for God to show up in undeniable ways, and He does.

The thing that stands out to me is how the prophets of Baal prayed.  They cried out to Baal from morning until night.  They danced, they shouted and shouted some more, they slashed themselves with swords and spears until their blood flowed.  They were frantic, yet nothing happened.

Elijah prayed and boom…God answered immediately!  His fire consumed,  not just the sacrifice, but also all of the water, soil, wood, and stones on the altar.

Has God ever answered a prayer like that for you?  You aren’t even sure if you fashioned a legible prayer and boom…it’s taken care of?  And then there are times when you pray and wait. Nothing happens.  You pray and wait some more.  Nothing happens.  What do we do then?  Do we begin to look like Baal worshipers…dancing around?  Worrying ourselves frantic?  Do we think God is sleeping or doesn’t care?  Do we resort to doing all WE can to make things happen because God just isn’t doing what we want?  That’s idolatry, my friend.

God is able.  God can move faster than lightning and use it for His glory.  He can move like a snail and use it for His glory.  What do we do in the meantime?  We wait on the one, true God.  We walk in obedience and wait on the one who can do anything.  We trust that, even in the waiting, He is good.  He’s good when He acts quickly, and He’s good when nothing seems to be happening.  Rest, my friend.  Cry out to Him…lay your burdens at His feet, and rest.

“Since ancient times, no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.”  Isaiah 64:4

Shelly Eberly

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