It’s Genesis 18:16-33 today and the notes come from Marina.
I like the way Abraham stayed with the men to see them on their way. He took every opportunity to be in their presence. As we thought yesterday we need to spend as much time as we can with God. We often pray and ask God to reveal his plans to us but then we rush on and make our own plans without ever being still and waiting to hear God speak. As Abraham walked with the Lord the Lord revealed his plans. There is a lesson here for us all.
Abraham was bold. He questioned God. On the face of it this seems an irreverent thing to do. When we question God are we questioning His love, patience or compassion? Or are we saying that we know better than God? If we are then we have a wrong view of God and an over inflated sense of our own importance. However, when Abraham questioned God, God wasn’t angry. He listened and there was a dialogue between them. As I thought about this it seemed that God welcomed this conversation. Abraham was interceding for others. Should our prayers be bolder? I’m sure we all pray for people we know and love to come to know the Lord but are our prayers bold? Do we really expect God to answer?
I think this passage is all about intercession. It can be really hard to pray for others when you don’t know their needs. Or when you could be asked to give time, money or energy to part of the answer to their problem. But at some point in your life somebody prayed for you. I can remember, a long time ago, my Sunday school teacher praying for me. I asked her what ‘Calvary’ meant and she told me it was probably one of the best questions I would ever ask and she would pray that I would find the answer. Thanks to God’s grace I did.
Maybe the challenge is to get to know others so we know what we need to pray about. Or listen to the news and pray about global issues or injustice. We can stand with persecuted Christians in prayer. But there is a danger; God will sometimes use us as part of the answer and we can only intercede for others when we are willing to allow God to use us as his hands and feet. It can be so easy to ask God to solve a problem but far more difficult if He gives you the ability to solve it yourself because then it means having to do something, getting your hands dirty and being pro-active. When it’s so much easier to ask God and let him do the work.
Today we can ask God to give us discernment. Who can we pray for? What needs can we meet? Then we need to be ‘persistent in prayer’, ‘pray without ceasing’ and ‘work with our hands’ to be God’s hands on Earth.