A Meditation on Elijah

Prophet_ElijahThe Hebrew Eliyahu (Elijah) means “My God is Yahweh.” During Elijah’s time, the nation of Israel had turned from following Yahweh to Baal, one of the Canaanite gods. Meaning “lord, owner or husband,” the term described a number of gods and many believed Baal brought rain and fertility. Because the Israelites left Egypt with little and weren’t experienced farmers, they were attracted to this idea of Baal.

Then Elijah appeared and claimed Yahweh, who was His God, as the one and only God of Israel, This proclamation was the point of Elijah’s prayer in 1 Kings 18:36-37:

“Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things by your command. Answer me, Lord! Answer me, that this people may know that you, Lord, are God and that you have brought them back to their senses.”

Elijah said there would be no rain until the Israelites decided on one God or the other. Whenever people saw or thought of Eliyahu, they were faced with the message of his name, “My God is Yahweh.” The prophets name itself said something of his faith and declared his mission in life.

We can ask ourselves:

Who is my God? Have we gone on auto-pilot about our religion, going about our day-to-day business without checking in with God? We might try to think of God as a member of our family. Would we be able to get away without talking to our parents or siblings or spouse? Have we checked whether our image of God has changed as we’ve moved through transitions in our life? From childhood to adulthood, marriage, family, births, deaths? How have we invited God along — or been aware of God’s presence in these important times? Who do we think God is now?

Who am I? Elijah’s name was also his mission. Our vocation is not always as clear, but each of us — whatever our state in life — was baptized for God. We have a mission. Where are we on our journey — on the mountaintop or in the desert? Are we the Elijah on fire with purpose or the Elijah despairing of God’s presence? What time do we allow to hear the gentle whisper of God in our lives?


  1. Lynette Odegaard

    Love this reading about Elijah, and I love being a Catholic trying to live my life for my Lord Jesus Christ.

  2. Jose Hernandez Jr.

    In humility, I seek God knowing that no matter how hard I seek Him, that even on my best day I could never seek Him as well as He seeked me. We are indeed like blades of grass or flowers that wilt. We whither and fade in the wind but His word will last forever. May I be a stump forever.In all things, may I learn to them in memory of Him.

  3. April Zimmermann

    I enjoyed meditating on this prayer…I am a sinner, so let me say this first, I try to think of God as a dear friend who moved in…He’s not moving out, I would not hear of it. That being said I try my best to check in with him a lot. Then I Elijah, he lives with us, he’s more likened to hermit. He studies about God and Jesus Christ. He’s harder to talk with; but his devotion and dedication are unwavering…he knows who he is, who God and Jesus Christ are…He probably is more like a prophet who any guest who are blessed to talk with him should listen to. I am a work in progress, only in the since that I need to have more prayer and study time in small groups and in my personal relationships with God and Jesus…Through the Father, from the Son and the Holy Spirit I received at baptism and is like my north star…I love and I am proud to be a Roman Catholic, I need to be grateful more for being a child of the Heavenly Family, let’s not leave out a brave young teenager, who said, YES to God, Jesus’ mother, Mary. I have a lot to PONDER, in the Greek translation of the word; about “The Word of the God”. The more I try to learn, the more I realize I need to learn. I am in for the long haul, that you can be sure of…Thank you for making me think and explore.

  4. Stephen Farrell OCDS

    Well proclaimed April. The words of Saint Elijah are a wonderful source of guidance and solace to me. I spend time with him by the brook, in the house of the widow, at Mtn. Carmel, under the broom tree, in the desert, on Mtn. Horseback, in and outside the cave, and continuing on the journey…

  5. Pat McKee

    I watched the movie called Noble. She had a dream to help the people in Vietnam. She went there and tried to help. She had to have an interview with a government official regarding what her plans were. The government gave her 3 months to make a difference they found adequate in order to stay in the country. She went to a Catholic Church and prayed. She walked past a statue of Jesus and said to him. I’ll walk you lead. I love what she said. I now say it in every morning. The movie is a true story. God bless Ms Noble she made a difference and the government let her stay. She is still there building schools and safe housing for children. Keeping them from being trafficked.

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Carmelite Vocation Office
We invite you to join us on the path up Mount Carmel. Walking in the footsteps of Jesus with Elijah and Mary is a wonderful, deeply satisfying life. We welcome you to contact us at any time via the information below.

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