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Prayer That Works


James 5:17-20; 1 Kings 18:36-39


Because this was such a crucial prayer, it is worth noting the specific things for which Elijah prayed.

He had four specific requests of God. First, "Let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel" (1 Kings 18:36). The burden of Elijah's heart was that others would know the true God and that they would realize that He alone is God.

Second, "That I am thy servant" (v. 36). This revealed Elijah's humble attitude--he wanted to be known only as a servant of the true God.

Third, he asked God to show "that I have done all these things at thy word" (v. 36).

Elijah not only wanted to be known as the servant of God but also as an obedient servant. He especially did not want the prophets of Baal to think that he had dreamed up all of this on his own.

He wanted them to be clearly convinced that God had directed him. This is also an indication that God is a personal God. Baal could not direct anyone; even those who worshiped him could not expect personal guidance.

Fourth, Elijah prayed, "Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again" (v. 37). Elijah wanted his prayer to be heard by God, and he wanted the people to return to God.

Then the fire fell! It consumed the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, the dust and the water that had been poured in the trenches.

"When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The Lord, he is the God; the Lord, he is the God" (v. 39).

"And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight" (1 John 3:22).

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