1 Kings 18:36-37
As a hospice chaplain I’m often called upon to officiate a funeral. When I first became a chaplain, the prospect of speaking and praying before an audience of my patient’s loved ones terrified me. Then I learned what an awesome privilege it is. Now I find great satisfaction and blessing in speaking at such a sacred gathering.
Do you get nervous when you’re asked to pray in public? What if you were asked to pray and you knew it would be one of the most important prayers of your life? Or perhaps, the most important prayer of your life? Elijah’s prayer was just that.
Baal’s prophets had prayed for hours to their nonexistent god. They begged the fake deity to hear their prayers and answer. Now it’s the other team’s turn.
Elijah’s prayer is brief and to the point. He asks three things of the Lord. First, he asks that the people would see that God alone is the one true God. Second, he asks God to affirm that Elijah is the Lord’s servant and had only done what God’s asked of him. Finally, Elijah asks God to demonstrate that God has repaired the relationship between the Lord and God’s people.
Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so that this people may know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back (v. 37). This was Elijah’s prayer. Is it our prayer as well?
How often does a concern for the spiritual well-being of others become the purpose of your prayers?
God, may we love you so completely that we do not hesitate to ask you for help either privately or publicly, fully confident that you will respond and be present in our lives. Amen.