I would like to say that I am good at praying or that I am a prayer warrior, but I’m not really. For the past few years I’ve been working on really praying for someone if I say I’ll pray for them, but as for praying regularly, I’m still not as disciplined as I’d like to be.
At church today, the pastor’s message really spoke to me about my prayer life. Strangely (or perhaps not so strangely), the conversation between Abraham and the angel/God before he destroys Sodom is a good example for me for prayer.
Abraham has a very humble attitude in Genesis 18:27. Abraham was actually pretty close to God—the Lord had promised so much to him and had spoken directly to him on several occasions. But here, Abraham is very respectful despite his close relationship. He’s mindful of God’s judgment—after all, the Lord is about to wipe out the city of Sodom laid out in front of them. He doesn’t doubt God’s power or His right to exercise judgment.
There are so many verses in the Bible that talk about “fear of the Lord,” but I think here is a good example of what that actually looks like. Just because Jesus calls Himself my friend, I too often forget that He is the Lord of all the earth, and I am dust and ashes. I need to more often remember that God is my Creator. I am nothing compared to His power and existence. A solid dose of humility every so often is a good thing. When I pray, sure He is my friend, but he also is my God.
For Abraham, it was an honor to speak to the Lord (Genesis 18.31). This is something I don’t even think about, and yet I should. The act of coming to God in prayer is only possible because of the blood of Jesus. I think if I remembered this more often, I’d have a better attitude when I pray.
Abraham appeals to God’s powerful sense of justice for the righteous, which is even at the expense of His judgment on the wicked (Genesis 18:25). He would let all those wicked people live for the sake of letting ten righteous people live. His mercy is nothing like the mercy of human beings. We talk about war and killing in terms of collateral damage, but I think God is far more merciful than we are to each other.
God’s mercy is something I forget when I’m feeling particularly guilty about something I’ve done. God really is very merciful, more merciful than I am to other people. Sure, I did something wrong, and I have to face consequences, but God’s love for me also knows no bounds.
God is also pretty patient—He wasn’t angered by Abraham’s repetitive petitions (Genesis 18:30). (Which is good because I tend to repeat myself a lot.)
The main thing I got out of this passage is that my attitude when I pray needs shaping up. To pray in fear of the Lord, but also to pray trusting in His love for me and in Jesus’ sacrifice for me. I’m hoping to put this into practice this week—pray for me!!! 🙂