The Prayer of Abraham and the Prayerlessness of Lot
by Rodney Mulvane
(Oklahoma City, OK)
Rodney and Linda Mulvane
Genesis 18:16-33; 19:12-26
Introduction: Abraham was a prayer intercessor. There are many intercessors mentioned in the Bible such as Moses, Paul, Jeremiah and Jesus Christ (Rom.8:34). We are most like the Lord when we are interceding in prayer for others.
In Abraham we see the balance between listening and serving. Abraham lived close enough tot the Lord that God would share His secrets. Abraham was God's secret pal. (Deut.29:29; James 2:23; Gen.18:17).
Abraham approaches the Lord and the Lord drew closer to him. The word "drew" means "to come to court to argue a case." Abraham was concerned about Lot, Lot's family, and the citizens of Sodom. He was concerned about their destruction and destiny.
The issue in Abraham's heart was not the sins of Sodom but the Salvation of Sodom! Intercessors must have great compassion for others.
You remember the prayer of Abraham who ended asking God to spare Sodom if there were at least 10 righteous people in Sodom. Lot had eight in his family. If Lot had won just his family and two people outside his family to the Lord then Sodom would have been spared in answer to Abraham's prayer of intercession.
But certainly the intercessory prayers of Abraham point to the importance of even a small group praying...even one. Also the intercessory prayers of Abraham point to the importance of soul winning and being a witness for the Lord...and even one witness can make a difference.
Lot, unfortunately, had a spiritual life that can be only classified as one of desperation. His prayer life suffered greatly and he seemingly prayed only when in great need.
Recently the Barna Group concluded a religions study on the prayer habits of Christians in today's times. They came up with these results:
- 65% of Christians feel that Praying makes a difference.
- 86% of Christians feel that God hears and answers prayer.
- 48% of Christians actually only pray when troubled or in great need.
- 5 minutes a day is the average time spent by an individual Christian.
George Barna stated that "while many believers sincerely desire to spend time with God, few actually do...Prayer does not need proving with new studies and new study groups...Prayer simply needs to be practiced."Note Three Facts about Prayer:I. Prayer is a God-given Priority.
II. Prayer is a God-given Provision.
- It is greatly important that we pray!
- We are to pray about everything (Phil.4:6).
- We are to pray regularly and faithfully (Psa.55:17).
- We are to pray when making decisions (Luke 6:12).
- We are to pray when facing challenges (James 5:13).
- We are to pray all the time (1 Thess.5:17).
III. Prayer is a God-given Purpose.
- God promises to provide the needs of His children (Psa. 42).
- Our needs include food, clothes, shelter and more.
- God provides for us through the means of prayer.
- To recieve from God wer have to pray.
- We have not because we ask not (James 4:2).
- Prayer is an opportunity to experience closeness with God (Psa.16:8; 34:18; 145:18-21; Heb.10:19-25; Jer.23:23; Psa.73:28; Heb.10:19-25).
- Prayer is an opportunity to express our dependence on God (Psa.42:1).
- Prayer is an opportunity to show praise and thanksgiving to God (Luke 17:11-19).
Intercessory prayer and Soul Winning is very important to God and should be to us. Abraham saw the need and Lot did not. Which are your? Abraham or Lot?