Genesis 18:17-33; 19:29

Key Idea: Learning from Abraham about Intercessory Prayer

Summary: What’s everyone up to tonight? Lance and I had an early dinner and are just relaxing. It was one of those days where we replaced light bulbs, trimmed the rose bushes and caught up on laundry. I like it when my man works around the house. Ha!!!

Last week, we reminded ourselves what it means to enter God’s presence when we pray. We learn from Moses the importance of recognizing God’s holiness and responding in worship.

Then we took some time to look at intercessory prayer.

Interestingly, in the story of Abraham we see that he too, was in the presence of God while pleading for Sodom and Gomorra. The LORD appeared to him with two angels, to tell him that this time next year, he and Sarah would have a son.

Then the LORD tells Abraham about the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorra and how their cries have reached his ears.

We know by Abraham’s response, that the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorra had reached his ears as well. As the two angels take off, the LORD seems to linger as if to give Abraham time to intercede.

Abraham does. He knows that God is righteous and appeals to Him according to His character. “Far be it for You, LORD, to slay the righteous with the wicked!”

The LORD knows that Abraham will be the Father of a great nation and wants Abraham to learn something from this incident that he will pass on to future generations. Abraham knows that God is righteous and the Judge of all the earth. Now, he is about to learn that God is also merciful and hears the prayers of the righteous. (Genesis 18:17-33; 19:29)

He makes an appeal, asking the LORD to spare the city if there are fifty righteous people in the city. Not quite sure there are fifty, he appeals again asking the LORD to spare the city if there are forty-five. He continues to intercede for Sodom and Gomorra until he feels fairly confident there should be at least ten.

As it turns out, there were only three. Judgement is sure. Lot hesitates when he hears judgment is coming. So the angels seized his hand and the hand of his wife, and the hands of his two daughters and brought them out of the city because the compassion of the LORD was upon them. Though Lot’s wife was delivered, she apparently was not a woman of faith. God’s word was given, "do not look back.” She looks back and beccomes a pillar of salt.

The Scriptures make it clear, that when God destroyed the cities of the valley, that GOD REMEMBERED ABRAHAM and delivered Lot. It was Abraham’s prayer that delivers Lot!! (Genesis 19:29)

We learn three things about prayer from Abraham.

1. God hears the prayers of the righteous and wants us to intercede for one another.

2. Though God is a righteous judge and will judge the wicked, He is also merciful and full of compassion. This is what Abraham learned when he prayed.

3. God also teaches us when we pray. Like Abraham, we are to tell “our stories” and pass it on!

For some reason, I’ve really been struck by the passage in Genesis 19:29 that tells us that it was Abraham that God remembered when He delivers Lot. Our prayers do matter. I also think it is interesting that Abraham interceded not only for Lot, but for Sodom and Gomorra.

Tomorrow, we will look at the prayer of a young man in hiding who has lost hope and feels abandoned. When this fearful young man encounters God, he becomes a mighty warrior!

Notes: download study notes