It's showdown time at Mount Carmel. Ahab and Elijah meet and Elijah throws down a challenge. King Ahab is to gather the 450 prophets of Baal that he has been taking care of and Jezebel is to present her 400 prophets of Asherah (nature and fertility gods) to stand in a test against Elijah, prophet of the Lord.
Elijah tries to whip up enthusiasm and faith among the people of Israel, but not even he can succeed at that. They want to wait and see who wins the challenge.
The challenge (as issued by Elijah): "Get two bulls for us. Let them choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by fire - he is God" (1 Kings 18:23-24).
The outcome: The false prophets prayed from morning until noon. Nothing. They prayed from noon until evening. Nothing.
Elijah prepared the altar of the Lord. He had the wood soaked in water until a trench around the altar was also full of water. Elijah prayed once. "Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones of the altar and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench" (1 Kings 18:38).
For reflection: Elijah let the other prophets have first choice of the bulls to be offered. The bull was one of the symbols of Baal representing lust for power and sexual pleasure. Those are still powerful gods today. Am I dedicated only to the one true God or are there others in my life?
Let us pray. You alone are holy. You alone are the Lord. You alone, Jesus Christ, are the most high.
I started this website and blog on May 1, 2012. I am a Catholic who has been in ministry for many years. I first developed what I would call a close relationship with Jesus in the early 1970s. Ever since then I have been praying with people for healing and other needs. It is because I have seen so many of these prayers answered that I am so bold as to offer to pray for you individually through this website and phone line.