Life Prayers - Elijah's Prayer

Sermon from CCM Ladybarn

LISTEN

This sermon was preached by James Adams at the Ladybarn site of Christ Church Manchester on Sunday 17th February 2019.

SERIES

This message was part of the ‘SERIES NAME’ series, preached at Christ Church Manchester’s church in Withington in EARLY/MID/LATE YEAR. The full series included the following sermons:

BIBLE VERSES

This sermon was based on 1 Kings 18:16-39

To the Church in Ephesus

16So Obadiah went to meet Ahab, and told him. And Ahab went to meet Elijah.
17When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, you troubler of Israel?” 18And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father’s house, because you have abandoned the commandments of the Lord and followed the Baals. 19Now therefore send and gather all Israel to me at Mount Carmel, and the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”

The Prophets of Baal Defeated

20So Ahab sent to all the people of Israel and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel. 21And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word. 22Then Elijah said to the people, “I, even I only, am left a prophet of the Lord, but Baal’s prophets are 450 men. 23Let two bulls be given to us, and let them choose one bull for themselves and cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it. And I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood and put no fire to it. 24And you call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” And all the people answered, “It is well spoken.” 25Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first, for you are many, and call upon the name of your god, but put no fire to it.” 26And they took the bull that was given them, and they prepared it and called upon the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they limped around the altar that they had made. 27And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.” 28And they cried aloud and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them. 29And as midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice. No one answered; no one paid attention.

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.” 

KEY POINTS

Idolatry Isn’t a Good thing

  • Idolatry is worshipping anything which isn’t God and it the thing which Gid challenges most in the bible. 

  • God is described as a jealous God. Human jealousy usually comes from selfishness, because we want something. 
  • The dictionary definition of Jealousy is ‘fiercely protective of ones rights or possessions’ 

God is Fiercely Protective of Your Heart

  • God opposes our idolatry because he is protective of our hearts. He knows what is best for you and what you need.

  • Elijah was in a very low place but he was still able to pray with faith that God would act. He was able to respond to what God was asking of him, to pray and ask God to do something despite the situation he was in and the way he was feeling.
  • The most amazing thing in this story is not the dramatic outcome. It’s not about God answering the prayer, it’s having a relationship with God tight enough to trust him and pray and follow him regardless of how we are feeling.

    Genuine Relationship with God

  • The most incredible blessing isn’t seeing exciting results to our prayers, but it comes from living a life where we trust God enough, where our relationship with him is genuine enough that we can remain content, regardless of the outcome.

  • I think that’s what Jesus means when he says life and life in all it’s fullness. Not that everything goes our way, but that we can be content in all things.
  • The God of the universe is fiercely protective of you and your heart. When you are  feeling raw, feeling weak, feeling depressed, anxious, no matter what it is if you are feeling rock bottom. Firstly, you are not on your own, I know lots of people in this church who have been in similar places. It is not something to be ashamed of. Elijah felt that way too. God’s promises are true. When you are at your weakest, that is when his power can be shown the most.

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