Let it be known today that you are God. 1 Kings 18:36
One of the longest-recorded postal delays in history lasted eighty-nine years. In 2008 a homeowner in the UK received an invitation to a party originally mailed in 1919 to a former resident of her address. The note was placed in her mailbox via the Royal Mail, but the reason behind its long delay remains a mystery.
Even the best human efforts at communication sometimes let us down, but Scripture makes clear that God never fails to hear His faithful people. In 1 Kings 18, Elijah demonstrated the striking contrast between the pagan god Baal and Jehovah God. In a showdown to demonstrate who the true God was, after Baal’s prophets had prayed for hours, Elijah taunted them: “Shout louder! . . . Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened” (v. 27). Then Elijah prayed for Jehovah to answer so that His people might return to faith, and God’s power was clearly displayed.
While our prayers may not always be answered as immediately as Elijah’s was, we can be assured that God hears them (Psalm 34:17). The Bible reminds us that He treasures our prayers so much that He keeps them before Him in “golden bowls,” like precious incense (Revelation 5:8). God will answer every prayer in His own perfect wisdom and way. There are no lost letters in heaven.
What does it mean to you that God cares enough to listen to your prayers? How will you thank Him for His faithfulness to hear you today?
Father, how amazing You are to always hear my prayers! I praise You because my prayers are precious to You.
Ancient Near Eastern culture was predominantly polytheistic, with many gods or deities believed to coexist in a hierarchy, each with different powers. Baal was seen as a god of fertility and storms and was depicted as a warrior carrying a thunderbolt. The gods were also viewed as having human characteristics, such as needing sleep or going on journeys, which could make it difficult to get their attention. Elijah, therefore, taunts the prophets of Baal with their own beliefs—mocking their seeming inability to get their god’s attention—before demonstrating Yahweh’s supreme power in realms they’d claimed were Baal’s (fire, lightning, and storms).