1Kings 18:37 "...so these people will know that you , O Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again."
1Kings 18:29 " Midday passed , and they (the prophets of Baal) continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention."
How often I try to get God to do something. If I read my bible and pray, surely He will answer my cry for whatever I ask. Surely if I serve at church, He will hear and respond. If only we all gather and pray and ask God for revival, for health, for favor, we will be answered. God will respond because we have asked it and at times asked frantically. But here, we see that frantic prayer and sacrifice are not the way to get God to hear. The prophets of Baal believed they would be heard because they worked so hard to get the attention of their god. We believe, at times, that our God will hear us because we pray in a large group, do many good works, read our bibles. I wonder if we have not thought about the fact that God, in His sovereignty, can and will bring new life, a revival, because of His plans, and through His mercy. To want revival is godly, to think we can bring it about is presumptuous. To pray for God to visit us is right, to demand He show up when we call is outright rude. To sacrifice for His kingdom, to serve Him is good and even commanded, to believe that obligates God to us is to become an idolater. God does not owe us anything, yet He has willingly given us mercy, grace and love. He has sought us out and we have ignored Him; He has rescued us and we have rejected Him; He has blessed us richly and we have blasphemed Him.
Pray for revival, pray for health and favor, but hold them all with an open hand before the God of the universe Who, in mercy and love, will do as He chooses for His purposes. We were, after all, created for His good pleasure.