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1 Kings 18 describes a contest between Elijah and Baals' prophets. Elijah prayed:

37 "Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”

38Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.

39 When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!”

Elijah demonstrated great success that day.

Luke 1 describes an angel told Zechariah concerning his future son:

16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

Are these two passages related? How?

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  • You touched on the similarity. They were related via, or ‘by’ the same spirit that was on Elijah. John the Baptist came in the spirit of Elijah. And, both were Nazirites, hence had the same ‘mission’. – Dave Apr 14 at 20:31
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Yes. I would like to add that Matthew 11:14 states: "If you willing to accept it, He is Elijah who is to come". While I do not believe that he was the fulfillment of Elijah, especially when John stated he was not Elijah when asked by the Pharisees (John 1:21) - I do believe the passages you mention goes to show the connection. The pattern(s) are unmistakable and quite strong. Both preached messages of repentance. One went to kingdom of Heaven from earth on a chariot, while the other preached the kingdom on earth. One preached a message of preparing the people for the Lord, while the other preached a message of preparing the way for the Lord.

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The ministry of Elijah was taken as a model for Christ's fore-runner, John the Baptist who would go in the Spirit of Elijah.

This was predicted in Mal 4:5, 6 -

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and awesome Day of the LORD. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers. Otherwise, I will come and strike the land with a curse.”

Thus, the predicted "Elijah" the prophet would do the same reforming work as the original Elijah. This was fulfilled, in the NT, in the person of John the Baptist as recorded in Matt 17:10-13 -

The disciples asked Him, “Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?”

Jesus replied, “Elijah does indeed come, and he will restore all things. But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him whatever they wished. In the same way, the Son of Man will suffer at their hands.”

Then the disciples understood that He was speaking to them about John the Baptist.

[See also Mark 13:11-13.]

Note the words of the Angel to Zechariah about John in Luke 1:17 -

And he will go on before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

This is further confirmed by Jesus in His speech about John recorded in Matt 11:7-14 -

As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swaying in the wind? Otherwise, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? Look, those who wear fine clothing are found in kings’ palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written:

‘Behold, I will send My messenger ahead of You, who will prepare Your way before You.’ [Matt 3:1]

Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet even the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subject to violence, and the violent lay claim to it. For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come." [Mal 4:5]

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1 Kings 18:36At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. 37Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”

This is a prayer, not necessarily a prophecy. In the next chapter, Elijah flees to Horeb, away from Jezebel and Ahab because he is afraid. People's hearts are not turning back to God.

Luke 1:16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

Similarly, at the end of John's life, he is not so successful either in turning the hearts of people to the Lord.

The two passages are related in that neither is all that successful in turning people's hearts to the Lord.

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