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21 Days Of Prayer And Fasting | DAY 2





 

Day 2

“O Lord, answer me! Answer me so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God…”  1 Kings 18:37a



PRESS PAUSE:  Psalm 100:4 says, “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.”  So today, before diving into the day’s scripture passage and devotion, take a moment to reflect on the prayer needs and personal commitments you made to the Lord yesterday - taking time to offer Him thanksgiving for all He has done and all He will continue to do in you and through you as you push pause over these next 21 days to hear Him more clearly and know Him more intimately.


READ: 1 Kings 18:1-40


In 1 Kings 18, we witness a powerful demonstration of God’s sovereignty and Elijah’s unwavering faith. The passage begins with the prophet Elijah receiving a message from the Lord to present himself to King Ahab, who had been ruling over Israel with his wife Jezebel, promoting idolatry and turning people away from worshiping the one true God. 


When he presented himself to King Ahab, Elijah was to tell the king that the Lord would soon send rain upon the land after a severe drought, which had lasted for three years, bringing famine and hardship to the people. But before he could say anything, King Ahab went out to meet Elijah and called him a “troublemaker of Israel.” King Ahab believed that it was Elijah’s fault that God had refused to send rain and caused the drought over Israel.


Elijah stands up to the king and calls him and his family the “troublemakers of Israel” because they had refused to obey God and were worshiping the false god, Baal. So, Elijah challenges King Ahab and tells him to summon all the prophets of Baal and Asherah to see who the one true God of Israel really was. Both Elijah and all the other prophets would each have a wood altar to sacrifice a bull on, calling on the god they worship to send fire and consume the sacrifice. The god who answered by setting fire to the wood would be the one true God that Israel would worship.


King Ahab ordered all the people of Israel and the prophets to be summoned to Mount Carmel. Elijah stood in front of them all and asked the question, “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!” You see, the people had been trying to have it both ways: to worship God and Baal at the same time. But Elijah knew that God alone was worthy of worship. He had a boldness in challenging the prophets of Baal. He had an unwavering conviction.


In a world where our beliefs often clash, we’re faced with the same difficult question to answer. Like the people of Israel, we can find ourselves wavering between serving God wholeheartedly or being swayed by worldly influences. Maybe it’s not a false prophet that you worship, but what about your social status? What about your need for material possessions and wealth? Elijah’s question still rings true today: “How much longer will you waver between two opinions?”


You keep reading in our scripture for today and you see that the prophets of Baal go first in offering their sacrifice and praying to their god. Scripture says that the prophets prepared the offering and began to pray, but there was no response from their god. For hours, they prayed, danced, and even cut themselves, hoping and waiting for their god to respond, but it was of no use. Elijah was so confident in his God burning the altar that he told the prophets to “shout louder” in case their god was “asleep or on a trip”.


But Elijah wasn’t done yet. He told the people to fill four large jars with water and to pour it over the altar that his God was going to burn. He had them do this a total of three times, and the Bible says that there was so much water around the altar that it even filled the trench around it. Then Elijah walked up to the altar and prayed a simple prayer, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, 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.” Scripture says that immediately, the fire of the Lord came down and burned up the bull, the wood, the stones, the dust, and even the water that was in the trenches! The people who watched this were amazed; they fell face down on the ground and cried, “The Lord – he is God! Yes, the Lord is God!” 


It's easy for us to read a passage like this and be amazed at the power of God in biblical times yet doubt His power today. Maybe today, you’re struggling to believe that God can come through on that miracle for you. I want you to notice just a couple of lessons from this passage to build your faith when you’re praying for a miracle.


The first is that prayerful dependence on God creates powerful faith. Elijah’s prayer for fire from heaven showcases the power of fervent, faith-filled prayer. In front of the entire kingdom, he calls on God to reveal His glory. This shows us that our prayers are not in vain. Whether you’re facing personal trials or interceding on behalf of others, you can approach God with confidence, knowing that He hears and answers according to His will. Our only goal is to live a lifestyle of prayerful dependence, trusting God’s ability to intervene mightily in every situation we face.


The second lesson we learn from this story is witnessing God’s power increases our faith. The climax of this passage is the display of God’s power as fire descends from heaven, consuming Elijah’s sacrifice. In doing so, God demonstrated His supremacy over all other gods to all the people of Israel. Just as Elijah’s faith resulted in a profound manifestation of God’s glory, our lives can also become a testimony to His power and faithfulness. Then, when we share our encounters with God and allow others to witness His transformative work in our lives, it inspires faith and encourages those around us to draw near to Him.


Today, I don’t know what giant you’re facing. I don’t know what mountain you have to figuratively climb. But no matter what that looks like for you, my prayer is that you would learn from the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal that our God alone is worthy to be praised. When you foster a lifestyle of prayerful dependence on Him, and when you witness God’s power at work, it creates a powerful faith for your own battle!






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