1 Kings 18:30-40

Talks for Growing Christians

The Lord Answers Elijah's Prayer with Fire From Heaven

1 Kings 18:30-40

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Lesson Number 35

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Public prayer does not have to be long to be effective.
  2. The fire of the Lord must fall before the refreshing rains can come.

Practical Application

  1. Let’s repair the altars of the Lord.


  1. What did the prophets of Baal do to entice their god to answer them?
  2. What did Elijah do to prove that God was the true and living God?
  3. Does public prayer have to be long to be effective?
  4. “The fire of the Lord must fall before the refreshing rains can come.” What does this picture for the believer?
  5. What does it mean that the altars of the Lord must be repaired?


  1. They ranted and raved and called continuously on Baal. They mutilated themselves and they danced in ecstatic frenzy. But the heavens were silent.
  2. First, Elijah repaired the altar of the Lord. Then he made a large trench around the altar. He put the wood on the altar, then placed the bull on the wood. Four waterpots were filled three times and poured over the sacrifice and the wood. Then he prayed to the Lord God of heaven, that the people might know that He is God.
  3. No. Elijah’s prayer was short, to the point, and effective (1 Kings 18:36- 37). On the other hand, the prophets of Baal prayed for hours, mutilated themselves, and ranted and raved. But they were praying to a false god. Our prayers should be sincere, and we must realize that we are praying to a living and concerned God.
  4. The fire of the Lord speaks of Calvary, an event which also took place at the time of the evening sacrifice. As the fire of the Lord fell on Elijah’s sacrifice, so the fire of God’s judgment fell on Christ at the cross for us. By believing, we now can have the refreshing rain of the Holy Spirit.
  5. God wants us to repair His altars, even as He commanded Elijah to do. Altars speak of testimony to the Lord, and of worship. Don’t tear down altars, and don’t quit and walk away when the going gets tough. Pitch in, repair and build up altars (ministries, for example). Recall the incident when Jesus cleansed the temple. Is there some cleansing for us to do?


  1. What kind of a public pray-er are you? Do you try to impress people or do you seek God’s glory alone?
  2. What are you doing to prove by your life that God is the true and living God?
  3. Have you experienced the fire before the refreshing rains?


  1. What are you doing to repair and build up altars for the Lord?

Key Verses

  • “He repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down.” 1 Kings 18:30
  • “Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God.” 1 Kings 18:37
  • “The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!” 1 Kings 18:39

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