1 Kings 18:30-46 – ELIJAH, MAN OF PRAYER
Anyone who reads the life story of Elijah in the Bible must admit that
Elijah was a great man of prayer. What is challenging, scary, and exciting
is that God expects you and I to be effective prayer warriors like Elijah.
(See James 5:16-18, Jeremiah 33:3, Matthew 7:7-11 John 14:13-14, John 16:24,
& John 5:14-15.
In first Kings 18:30-46 we see Elijah praying and receiving two major answers to prayer. God answers Elijah with fire from Heaven, and with rain after 3 1/2 years of draught.
(You will want to give the background of this story and an explanation of
the contest between Elijah and the Prophets of Baal. This information is found in 1 Kings 17-18.)
As Elijah receives these answers to prayer, we find him teaching us some principles about how to pray. Consider that we should:
REPAIR PENITENTLY Vs. 30
The first thing Elijah did was to repair the altar of the Lord.
Either through destruction by the enemy or neglect, the altar was in disrepair.
Today, we offer the sacrifice of prayer and praise to God. (Hebrews 13:15,
Ephesians 6:18). The altar upon which we offer this sacrifice is our lives.
If we are in Spiritual disrepair, we cannot effectively offer our prayers to
God. (Psalm 66:18). We must repair our altars through confession of sin,
and making things right with others. (1 John 1:9, Matthew 5:23-24)
REQUEST RESPONSIBLY Vss. 36-37
You have heard it said that “With privilege comes responsibility.”
It is a privilege to pray. We need to pray responsibly. (James 4:2-3)
Notice that Elijah prays to the right God.
He asks for God’s Glory, so that it would be known who the true God was in Israel.
Elijah also asks that it would be known that he was God’s servant, and that he acted according to God’s word.
Finally, Elijah asks for revival. (Vs. 37)
When we pray we are to pray for the right things with the right motives. (1
RELAX CONFIDENTLY Vss. 31-35, 38-39
Elijah made the task more difficult by digging a trench and having the fire doused with water 3 times. However, Elijah was still confident that God would answer his prayers.
There are times when we are praying that things get worse before they get better. God is probably only allowing things to get harder so people will know that He indeed has answered prayer in a very difficult situation. The tougher the answer is, the more glory God receives when He does answer.
In Vss. 38-39, God answers with fire from Heaven.
RESPOND EXPECTANTLY Vss. 41-46
Elijah sends Ahab to have a meal, because, according to Elijah, rain was on the way soon. Then Elijah went up and prayed. He constantly sent his servant to look for the answer to prayer. When a cloud the size of man’s hand appeared, Elijah sent to Ahab, telling him to head for home before the rain stopped him.
Elijah shows us that as we pray, we should look expectantly for answers. We should not be impatient, but we should show our faith by watching for God’s answer to our prayers.
5. REPEAT FERVENTLY Vss. 42-43
Elijah continued to pray until he received His answer.
We should continue to pray until we receive our answers. (Luke 18:1-8)