Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that You, O Lord, are God.
–1 Kings 18:37
In 1 Kings 18, Elijah demonstrated an important principle for powerful praying: focus on glorifying God.
Elijah dedicated his life to proving that Jehovah was the only true God in Israel. In fact, Elijah’s name meant “My God is Jehovah.” So it should be no surprise that at the core of Elijah’s prayer was a desire to glorify God. Look at 1 Kings 18:36-37: “O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, today let it be known that You are God in Israel and that I am Your servant and I have done all these things at Your word. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that You, O Lord, are God, and that You have turned their heart back again.” Elijah’s singular desire in life was to make people aware that there was only one God worthy of our worship.
When I was a child, my favorite hymn was “Holy, Holy, Holy.” That song is the very essence of who God is. It is based on Isaiah 6:3, when Isaiah saw a vision of the angels who were crying out, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory.” The word translated “holy” comes from a Hebrew word that means “to cut, to separate.” When we say God is holy, we are saying that God is a cut above. God is separate from anything or anyone in creation. He alone is worthy of our worship. Elijah was saying, “God, I am asking You to lap up this sacrifice in fire so that the whole world may know You are the one true God.” That was the focus of his prayer, and that’s why God answered the prayer.
When I was in high school, I read the biography of George Muller, who had a number of orphanages in Great Britain in the nineteenth century. But what Muller is most known for is his prayer journal, in which he recorded over fifty thousand answers to prayers. Praying was as normal for Muller as breathing, even when he faced an impossible situation. One morning, he discovered there was no milk for the children at the orphanage. So he began praying, “God, this is Your need; this is Your work. Please provide for these children.” While he was on his knees praying, Muller heard a knock at the door. He got up and opened it. A man was standing there, and he said, “My milk cart just broke down in front of your orphanage, and I have all of these containers of milk that are going to spoil. Do you have any use for this milk?” God provided in a dramatic way. Muller had fifty thousand examples like that of answered prayer. Why did God answer the prayers of George Muller? In his book, Muller explained that “the first and primary object of the work was, to show before the whole world and the whole church of Christ, that even in these last evil days the living God is ready to prove himself as the living God, by being ever willing to . . . answer the prayers of those who trust in him.” When God’s glory is our life focus, we can know God is going to answer our prayers.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Practice Powerful Praying” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2017.
George Muller, “The Life of Trust” (Boston: Gould and Lincoln, 1873), 237.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.