The prophet Elijah challenged the prophets of the pagan god Baal to a contest on Mount Carmel. They laid a sacrificial animal on a pile of wood. The prophets of Baal would call on their gods, and Elijah would call on his. The god who answered by sending fire to consume the sacrifice would be declared the superior god (1 Kings 18:22-25).
Elijah ridiculed Baal because he did nor answer the cry of his priests, even though they called to him for several hours. Perhaps he was silent. Elijah suggested, because he was preoccupied with other matters, was away on a journey, or was taking a nap.
When Elijah called on the Lord, fire fell immediately form heaven and consumed the sacrificial animal on the altar (1 Kings 18:38). This proved that God heard the prayers of His people was superior to Baal.
`1 Kings 18:27 – Elijah mocked them [the prophets of Baal], and said, Cry aloud: for he [Baal] is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure [maybe, NIV] he sleepeth, and must be awaked.