The Importance of Prayer

1 Kings 18:36-37—At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, O LORD, answer me so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God and that you are turning their hearts back again.”

Elijah had given the prophets of Baal every advantage. He gave them most of the day. They had hundreds of Baal priests. When they had exhausted all their efforts he built an altar of twelve stones, arranged the wood, and upon it placed the sacrificial bull. He dug a trough around the altar. Then he had the people drench the altar with water until the trough filled up. It must have been 3PM, the time of the evening sacrifice. Elijah prayed the above prayer. He declared the reason for this test was that the people would know the God of Israel is the most powerful god, and that he was doing these things at God’s command. He prayed that the people would know that the LORD (Jehovah) is God. He prayed that they would realize God was turning their hearts back. A fire fell from heaven and consumed everything, including the altar stones! Then the people shouted, “Elijah, Elijah, Elijah!” Elijah’s name means God is Jehovah! They were declaring that God is Jehovah. Elijah’s prayer was answered. If we operate at God’s command and pray with a heart to see people realize that the LORD is God, we can expect to see miracles also. We can expect God to turn hearts back to Him. If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

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