March 16: Bad prayers of the Bible – Praying to Baal

In addition to positive examples of prayer, the Bible gives us negative examples of prayer.

And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made.

1 Kings 18:26

Felix Mendelssohn wrote an oratorio on about Elijah, with a movement that mocks the prophets of Baal.

Mendelssohn’s Elijah No. 11 “Baal, we cry to thee”

Thankfully we don’t pray to idols today, right? Who do we turn to when we need help?

  • If it’s a financial problem, do we check our Visa credit line first?
  • If it’s a medical problem, do we check WebMD first?
  • If it’s an interpersonal problem, do we gossip first?
  • If it’s an addiction problem, do we go to AA first?
  • If it’s a wisdom problem, do we go to Google first?
  • If it’s a boredom problem, do we go to Netflix first?
  • If it’s a political problem, do we go to Fox News first?

And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.

1 Kings 18:36

Remember these three things that Elijah teaches us:

  1. There is a God
  2. We are His Servants
  3. We need to obey Him

God can use doctors to accomplish His healing. God can use humans to accomplish His will. But our trust is not in man, but in God. Let’s go to Him first.

And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The Lord, he is the God; the Lord, he is the God.

1 Kings 18:39

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