And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink, for there is a sound of the rushing of rain.” So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Mount Carmel. And he bowed himself down on the earth and put his face between his knees. And he said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” And he went up and looked and said, “There is nothing.” And he said, “Go again,” seven times. And at the seventh time he said, “Behold, a little cloud like a man’s hand is rising from the sea.” And he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot and go down, lest the rain stop you.’” And in a little while the heavens grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode and went to Jezreel. And the hand of the Lord was on Elijah, and he gathered up his garment and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel. I Kings 18:41-46 ESV
Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
make melody to our God on the lyre!
He covers the heavens with clouds;
he prepares rain for the earth;
he makes grass grow on the hills.
He gives to the beasts their food,
and to the young ravens that cry. Psalm 147:7-9 ESV
The ancient Greek people had many gods and goddesses that they prayed to for help. Zeus was the god of the weather, and if people wanted better weather they might try to make Zeus happy. Hera was the goddess of marriage, and a woman might pray to her for a husband or to bless her marriage–although Hera had a very unhappy marriage to Zeus! Athena was the goddess of war and of hunting, and people who made pots or worked with wool might also pray to her for help with these crafts. Poets might pray to the god Apollo for his protection, and farmers who wanted a good harvest would pray to Demeter, the goddess of agriculture. The list could go on and on. These gods and goddesses are only stories, but the Greek people trusted them for help with the different needs they had in their lives.
Baal was a god who was thought to give rain to make crops grow, and people who believed in him might pray to him and try to please him if there was a drought and no rain. There hadn’t been any rain in Israel for three years, and Baal hadn’t helped the people. He was only a story, but God’s people had turned away from the Lord to worship Baal instead. God was working through his prophet Elijah to show that only he could send rain. He wanted his people to turn away from Baal and back to him, the true and only God. Elijah prayed for rain, and after sending his servant to look for a raincloud over the water seven times, a very little cloud appeared. Elijah knew that God was about to answer his prayers. He warned King Ahab to get back to the city before the storm hit, and God gave him amazing strength to run faster than Ahab’s horses!
The same God who answered Elijah’s prayers and sent rain to Israel is with us today and listens to our prayers. No matter what problems we have, God is ready and able to help us in the way that is best. We can go to God with our troubles through Jesus, our Savior. Jesus died on the cross to take away our sins, and God hears and answers our prayers for Jesus’ sake. No matter what our need is, we can pray to one and the same God about everything that is bothering us.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for being able to help us with any problem and every need. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.