Many parents will say that they just love to watch their children sleeping. The child isn't doing anything, yet the parent loves him or her so deeply. Love for a child is like no other love we have ever experienced. That is how God loves you; God has an agape love for you that you can't even fathom. Because of that great love, God wants to answer your prayers.
In today's passage, through Elijah the prophet, the Lord instructs King Ahab to gather the Israelites and all the pagan prophets. To prove that Elijah was a true prophet of the one living God, a sacrifice is to be made and the gods are to be called to light the fire. God does answer Elijah's prayer, miraculously proving Himself before all the people, but before this happens, the pagan prophets call out to Baal, receiving no answer. (v. 26)
So many people will claim that earthly things make them happy - money, sex, etc., but when it really comes down to it, they are not really fulfilled. Do you have a source of joy in your heart? How scared of you of life or death and the unknown? You've been crying out to your god, whatever it may be, but has it ever answered you? The devil cannot give you what he doesn't have. Our souls crave for that which God created for them, and only the one true God can fulfill them.
1. Answered prayer glorifies God.
One of the reasons God wants to answer your prayer is so that people will see the answer and He will be glorified. You have so many blessings in your life (provision, ideas, work, money, relationships, etc.), but how often do you give God the credit for those things? Answered prayer is supposed to glorify Him, not you.
One of the reasons God wants to answer your prayer is so that people will see the answer and He will be glorified.
And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. John 14:13
If you pray according to God's will and you are obedient, your prayer will be answered with precision. God wants to prove Himself faithful and strong.
2. Answered prayer should be expected. Hebrews 6:18
Imagine if the integrity of your Christian faith were based solely on your answered prayer. Be willing to put your reputation on the line for God.
In verses 30-37, Elijah prepares the altar where the Lord will make fire. He instructs that the wood should be wet thoroughly with water three times because he has confidence that God is going to answer his prayer, and he wants it to be clear that God's intervention is the only way that the fire could appear.
3. Answered prayer causes unbelievers to honor God. (v. 37)
Hear me, o Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again." Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, "The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!" (1 Kings 18:37-39)
When we pray, we should lay our reputations on the line and rely on Him publicly. We want people to be confounded by the things God does, as a testimony to His character and His power. We want people to say, "I can't explain that! That seems like God."
When we pray, we should lay our reputations on the line and rely on Him publicly.
When you get on your knees and pray, pray big prayers. Don't pray to just survive life, pray to thrive and make an impact, that people may know God through you.
4. Answered prayer accomplishes God's goals. 1 Kings 18:40
There are some things in your life that will never happen until you pray. (Mark 9:29) God will allow you to be in situations that you can't handle on your own. (You should never think you don't need God, by the way!) He wants you to call out to Him; it is how He chooses to accomplish things.
5. Answered prayer increases the faith of believers. 1 Kings 18:40-46
The more you pray, the more He answers, and the more you want to pray.
God wants to give you blessings, but many times you're not ready to acknowledge or handle them. When God answers you, recognize His work. Acknowledge what He has done. If you pray for a monetary blessing and you get it, don't squander it away. If you pray for a relationship, don't abuse it and use it to sin. Use the blessings God gives you to bring glory to His name.