Prayer of Faith

1 Kings 18:22–40

“Now bring two bulls. The prophets of Baal may choose whichever one they wish and cut it into pieces and lay it on the wood of their altar, but without setting fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood on the altar, but not set fire to it. Then call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD. The god who answers by setting fire to the wood is the true God!” And all the people agreed. (1 Kings 18:23–24)

Isn’t it amazing how often people try everything but prayer? It’s like the old saying: “When everything else fails, read the instructions.” The same with prayer. When everything else fails, try prayer. “Okay, okay . . . maybe we should pray about it.” But Elijah didn’t use prayer as a last resort. Prayer was his first and only resort. A simple prayer of faith was his major contact with the living Lord. It set everything in motion.

Let me ask you a straight-out question: Do you, personally, pray? Now notice that I didn’t say, “Do you listen when the preacher prays or when your parents pray?” I didn’t say, “Do you know a good Bible study on prayer?” I didn’t even say, “Have you taught on prayer?” I asked, “Do you, personally, pray?” Can you look back over the last seven days and pinpoint times you deliberately set aside for prayer? Even just a solid ten or fifteen minutes of uninterrupted time with God?

This entire incident revolves around one dedicated life—the life of Elijah. He was a man all alone, overwhelmingly outnumbered by a hostile king, the king’s wicked and powerful wife, eight hundred fifty pagan prophets and priests of Baal, and countless numbers of unbelieving Israelites. Yet all of them were silenced and intimidated by this one dedicated man of God.

Never underestimate the power of one totally dedicated life.

How exciting it would be if, through your own dedication to Jesus Christ, you could influence one person this next week, either by leading him to Jesus or by building her up in the faith. Sound impossible? You know it’s not. The Bible and the history of the church are filled with stories of the difference one person’s dedication to God has made.

Elijah staged a magnificent showdown with the prophets of Baal. But the greatest showdown of all time was at Calvary, where the enemy of God was defeated by the sacrifice of God’s own Son. Why? Because God had one dedicated life He could count on: His own dear Son, Jesus. In fact, the difference He made changed all of history.

I urge you: step up!

Taken from Great Days with the Great Lives by Charles Swindoll. Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll. Used by permission of HarperCollins Christian Publishing.

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Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.