Some days we pray big prayers. Some days our requests are smaller.
Tucked within the pages of 1 Kings we find Elijah and he’s involved in a showdown between the gods of Baal and the One True God.
A sacrifice is prepared and first up are the prophets of Baal. They prepare the ox and pray from morning until noon for the god of Baal to answer them. But there was no response.
Then it was Elijah’s turn. He prepared the ox and the altar. He goes a step further and requests that a trench be made around the altar. Then he requests four pitchers of water to be poured over the burnt offering and on the wood. The water flowed down and into the trench. But then Elijah does something more –
He requests the pitchers to be filled and poured a second time, and a third time. The trench filled with water.
It is then, when the altar, the wood, and the sacrifice are saturated that Elijah prays:
“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. 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.” (1 Kings 18:36-37, NASB)
Then the fire of the Lord fell from above. It burned and consumed the burnt offering, the wood, the stones, the dust, and licked up every drop of water. See for yourself in 1 Kings 18:38.
Elijah’s heart, in even asking, was not for a showy event. His desire was that in the miraculous, the hearts of the people would be turned back to God. They would come to see for themselves who He was and know Him.
“When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The Lord, He is God; the Lord, He is God.”Â (verse 39, NASB)
Elijah’s request was answered – the people fell on their faces in worship. They acknowledged God.
In her devotional book, Prevail, Susie Larson shares these challenging words:
“What if you stood back, and dared to pray Elijah’s prayer: Father, this isn’t just for me, it’s for those who are watching me! I am Your servant. Intervene in my life so that others may see that You are the one true God. Show Yourself strong on my behalf because I belong to You! Draw others to You because of Your very real power in my life.”
(from Prevail by Susie Larson, page 87)
May we dare to pray big, so that
the hearts of others would be turned back to God.