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Some people pray like this: “Dear Lord, bless me and my wife, my son John and his wife of four and no more.” Sadly, many people pray very selfishly. We use the words I, me, and my more often than any other words–even when we pray. And while the Bible does give us permission to present our personal needs to God, it urges us to honor God and pray for others. We read in 1 Kings ch. 18 that when Elijah offered a prayer on Mt Carmel, his first priority was that God would glorify Himself. He prayed, “O LORD! Answer me so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God.” Honoring the Father first is the priority Jesus taught His disciples–and us. Jesus said when you come to God, “Pray like this, “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” In other words, our first priority should be to recognize and honor God’s holiness. We should want God’s will to be done. That should be first in our hearts if not on our lips. Elijah then prayed that God would send fire to consume the animal sacrifice. He wanted the people to know that he was God’s servant, doing what God had instructed him to do. God answered his prayer by sending fire. It burned not only the animals, but also the wood, stones, dust, and all the water. Elijah’s prayer was not just for himself. It was for God’s glory. It was to benefit others. God honors unselfish prayer.

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