This sermon was based on 1 Kings 18:1-40
Elijah Confronts Ahab
The Prophets of Baal Defeated
30Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” And all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that had been thrown down. 31Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord came, saying, “Israel shall be your name,” 32and with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord. And he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two seahs of seed. 33And he put the wood in order and cut the bull in pieces and laid it on the wood. And he said, “Fill four jars with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood.” 34And he said, “Do it a second time.” And they did it a second time. And he said, “Do it a third time.” And they did it a third time. 35And the water ran around the altar and filled the trench also with water.
36And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. 37Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.” 38Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God.” 40And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape.” And they seized them. And Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon and slaughtered them there.
Prayer Takes Courage
- The society around Elijah had forgotten God. To call on God in this context takes courage.
- Much like today the society followed what was easy and what was in front of them.
- Elijah had not forgotten God – he calls the people to make a choice and to then to follow what they actually believed to be true.
- Courageous prayer can be lonely. Elijah was out on his own and faith can feel that way.
- Courageous prayer can look irrelevant. Ahab, Jezebel and the prophets of Baal are big and what Elijah has to offer looks small in comparison.
- Courageous prayer often comes from the underdog. Throughout the bible we see stories of people crying out to God for the big breakthroughs when they are the ones who seem to have no chance at success.
- Courageous prayer points out the emptiness of false gods. No matter what the prophets of Baal did their god did not hear or respond. In comparison Elijah just simply asked God to show his power and he responded.
What Happens When Elijah Prays?
- Elijah asks for God to move.
- He didn’t pray against anything, didn’t do battle or tear anything down.
- He prayed that people would Know God and relationship would be restored.
- Peoples hearts are turned back to the living God – the very core of their being turned to God.
- What happens? God moves – fire falls.