“Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.” 1 Kings 18:37 (NIV).
In the showdown at Mount Carmel an epic struggle unfolds between Elijah and the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:16-46). Everything is on the line. It’s a power encounter second to none. One man against the apostasy of a nation. One resolute prophet boldly defying public opinion by challenging the people to stop wavering between two opinions and either worship God or worship Baal.
Elijah’s world was very similar to ours. Israel had relegated God to the sidelines and the spiritual wellbeing of the nation was at an all time low. God was very small in the eyes of the people. There had been no rain in the land for many years, yet they’d placed their faith in Baal, the god of storms and lightning!
Who will call on God for revival? God can use a man or woman to change a nation. Elijah called on God and received fire from heaven. In faith he believed that God can start a fire even with water drenched wood. As the prophets of Baal collapse exhausted from their frenetic dancing and blood loss, Elijah takes centre stage. He’d spent three and a half years in isolation, praying and meditating on God’s Word. Now his prayer for revival is emphatically answered by a demonstration of God’s power.
Prayer moves the heart of God. “The prayer of a righteous person has great power” James 5:16 (ESV). Elijah prayed fervently and God sent showers of blessing. There were two outcomes: the people turned back to God (1 Kings 18:39-40) and the drought came to an end (1 Kings 18:41-45).
Do you want to see this nation turn to God? “Prayer alone can release that power which would shake the hearts of men. This cultured paganism at our doors, those idol temples, those fear gripped, sin mesmerized millions can only be moved to God as the church is moved of God for their lost condition” Leonard Ravenhill, Why Revival Tarries.