- Logic in Prayer
near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with 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
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
"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
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".