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  Fire From The Lord  

1 Kings 18:30-39
30 Then Elijah said to all the people, "Come here to me." They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the LORD, which was in ruins.
31 Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD had come, saying, "Your name shall be Israel."
32 With the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs of seed.
33 He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, "Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood."
34 "Do it again," he said, and they did it again. "Do it a third time," he ordered, and they did it the third time.
35 The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench.
36 At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: "O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command.
37 Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again."
38 Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.
39 When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, "The LORD--he is God! The LORD--he is God!"

Elijah rebuilt the altar on Mount Carmel, and then He had called the people who watch him keenly to make a decision. He poured enough water to drench the offering, the altar of 12 stones and the trench around - no foul tricks here. Then he called the Lord, “Answer me, O Lord, answer me...” (Vs. 37).

What a contrast here between Elijah and the priests of Baal. The priests of Baal ranted, raved, danced, sliced themselves with knives, and went half out of their minds trying to make Baal answer. In contrast, all Elijah did was a sensible, sincere, believing prayer. He is convinced that the Lord would answer. God keep his ears tuned to our pryers.

Why should Elijah pray - some people wonder! Because, God know what is at stake here on Mount Carmel! - they think. Prayer is the inseperable link in the chain by which God realises his promises.

God did answer the prayers by sending fire earlier also. Fire came from the Lord after the tabernacle was first built and consecrated to the service of the Lord (Lev 9:24). When the temple was consecrated, after Solomon’s prayer, fire once again came down from heaven (2Chron 7:1). When King David repented of counting the fighting men of Israel the Lord sent down fire from heaven (1Chron 21:26). God answer prayers.

Elijah asked for four things in his prayer.

- First, “let it be known today that you are God in Israel” (vs. 36).
- Second, “let it be known ... that I am your servant” (vs. 36). Elijah had been defamed and hunted by everybody because he speak about God.
- Third, “let it be known ... that I ... have done all these things at your command” (vs. 36). He wanted the people to acknowledge that he was faithful to God’s commands.
- And fourth, “Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again” (vs. 37). Elijah hope that if the Lord answered by fire the children of Israel would answer back in faith and belief - that was the whole reason for the confrontation on Mount Carmel.

The Lord spoke and He spoke loudly. He spoke clearly. He spoke convincingly. The people of Israel witnessed the fire. They knew what it meant. So they fell to the ground before the altar of the Lord and cried out, “The Lord–he is God! The Lord–he is God!” (vs. 39).

Prayer idea

Enlist and pray at least 5 specific requests which you want God to fulfill in this year.