Have you ever been in a situation where you felt underqualified? You feel pressured to act, maybe people are watching, but you have no idea what to do. If you are a person of prayer, you may cry out to Him, “God, why did you bring me to this place? What do you want me to do?” The prophet Elijah probably wondered about something similar when he faced King Ahab and the prophets of Baal on top of Mt. Carmel. He found himself in the midst of a dramatic showdown to determine who was the one true God: Yahweh or Baal.
After hours of shouting from the prophets of Baal, “Baal, answer us!” there was still no response (vv. 26–29). Then it was Elijah’s turn. As evening approached, the sun began creeping down behind the trees and the temperature dropped. The Israelites had been watching and waiting. They saw the altar Elijah repaired, the trench he dug, the wood he gathered, the bull he cut into pieces. Everything was soaking wet (vv. 30–35). Elijah stepped forward and prayed. He may have been thinking, “God, if you are going to show up, now is a great time. I have done everything I can do, now do what only you can do.”
Elijah’s prayer begins by emphasizing Yahweh’s covenant name: “LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel” (v. 36). He then prays that Yahweh would turn their hearts back again so they would know that only Yahweh is God (vv. 36–37). Then something amazing happened. Almost immediately God responds with fire, burning up the sacrifice and the altar, even the water (v. 38). The verdict was in—Yahweh is the only true God!
>> There may be times when you feel underqualified or all alone. At that moment, you must pray and watch and see what only God can do. It is only He who has the power to turn people’s hearts back again.
Father, at times we feel helpless to make a difference. The truth is that we can’t reach people without you. We rejoice in our dependence on your power and ask for your intervention in the hearts of those we love.