Daily Devotional – ‭‭‭‭‭‭1 Kings‬ ‭18:37‬‬ – February 26, 2024

“Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”
‭‭1 Kings‬ ‭18:37‬

Today’s verse comes from what I think is one of the most exciting stories in the Old Testament. It involves the prophet Elijah squaring off against the prophets of the false god Baal. He is trying to win back the people of Israel who have strayed to worshiping Baal and other idols.

He has the 450 prophets of Baal gathered and tells them to prepare a sacrifice, to make an altar of wood, to slaughter the bull, but not to light the fire, and he would do the same. Then, they would each call on their god, and whichever one sent down fire from heaven to consume the sacrifice would be proven the one true God.

The prophets of Baal did just as Elijah proposed and spent the whole day calling their gods to consume the sacrifice with fire. No answer came. Then Elijah ordered a bucket of water to be dumped on top of his own altar. Then another. Then another. The whole thing was soaked. Then he prayed the prayer in this verse, and God sent down fire from heaven and consumed the whole thing and no water was left behind. All of the Israelites were amazed and believed God.

The point I want to take from all of that today, though, is Elijah’s prayer. He didn’t set all of that off so he could show off. He didn’t call them all their for his own benefit. He didn’t just square off with the prophets of Baal just for his own personal gain. It was on behalf of the people. It was because he wanted them to turn back to God. That was the desire of Elijah’s heart.

We often seek answers to our prayers from God. How often are they answers that concern the souls of people who have turned away from us and rejected our God? Probably pretty rarely. But Elijah prayed for them anyway, wanted to help them return anyway, and he did so in a powerful way. That prayer reveals a lot about Elijah, about God, and about us.


Help us to be less selfish with our prayers but to always be looking for ways to bring to people to you, whether for the first time or bringing them back after they’ve turned away. Help us not to give up on people, but to believe that you are able to save them and that you can use us powerfully to do so.
In Jesus’ Name,

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