Home I Articles I Messages I Evangelism I Courses I Resources

Abraham - Logic in Prayer

J Oswald Sanders

Abraham - Logic in Prayer

 

Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?  Genesis 18:16-33

 

The processes of prayer and answer are not irrational. Indeed God encourages argument in prayer. While He requires submission to His revealed will, He is not pleased with languid passivity. "Set forth your case, says the Lord. Bring forth your proofs" (Isaiah 41:21, RSV). We are invited to muster and present the strongest possible arguments for our petition and to press it with logic and vigour.

 

Confronted with the imminent doom of Sodom, home of his nephew Lot, Abraham, one of the great praying men of the Bible, does just this. His first recourse is prayer to the God with whom he enjoyed such unique intimacy that they actually shared secrets (v. 17). In the intensity of his desire, Abraham mixes audacity with argument and petition with pleading. Mark his holy daring as he intercedes. Note his growing confidence as he marshals his propositions.

 

"Wilt thou indeed destroy the righteous with the wicked? Far be that from thee! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (vs. 23-25).

 

He argues that such action would compromise God's moral character and tarnish His honour. As God graciously responds, Abraham returns time and again with larger demands, yet tempering his boldness with becoming reverence. "I am but dust and ashes." "Let not the Lord be angry." He ceases his suit upon reaching what he doubtless considered to be the irreducible minimum of righteous people in Sodom.

 

His optimism proved unwarranted. He ceased pleading before he exhausted the mercy and grace of God, and therefore was ineffectual to save Sodom from its doom. Nevertheless, his intercession snatched his nephew from the very jaws of death, for "God remembered Abraham and delivered Lot".

 

 Home I Articles I Messages I Evangelism I Courses I Resources

Therismos Kairos Mission