Summary: God will hear your prayer when you encounter Him.
All Scripture quoted in this lesson is from The Bible by Jesus unless otherwise noted
A. INTRODUCTION: WHEN GOD TALKED TO ABRAHAM – GEN. 18:22-33
1. Every time God appeared to Abraham was a test of his faith. Because he successfully followed God, Abraham is called the father of faith. But also called, “A friend of God” (2 Chron. 20:7; Is. 41:8; Ja. 2:23).
2. Every great leader has feet of clay.
a. Compromised calling Sarah his sister (Gen. 12:13; 20:2).
b. Ishmael over Isaac.
B. GOD’S INITIATIVE
1. God came to Abraham. “I appeared to Abraham again when he was living near the oaks of Mamre” (Gen. 18:1).
2. God announced. “Sarah will have a son” (Gen. 18:10). Sarah laughed.
3. God shared. “Should I hide from Abraham My plans?” (Gen. 18:17).
4. God sends angels to judge Sodom. “Two angels left . . . to head to Sodom” (Gen. 18:22).
5. Can God’s mind be changed?
a. No, predetermined ends.
b. Yes, predetermined means.
6. Why did God listen to Abraham? “I realize he would be an influential leader . . . I know I could do my work through him” (Gen. 18:18-19).
C. ABRAHAM’S RESPONSE
1. The heart of Abraham. “Abraham . . . approached Me in intercessory prayer” (Gen. 18:23).
2. Abraham trusted God’s heart. “Abraham continued . . . I know you will do the right thing” (Gen. 18:25).
3. Abraham was yielded. “If . . . 50 good people” (Gen. 18:26).
4. Abraham confessed unworthiness. “I am only a man created from dust” (Gen. 18:27).
5. Abraham’s faith made him bold. “Abraham grew bolder, will you spare the city for 45?” (Gen. 18:28).
6. Abraham pleaded God’s mercy. “I plead your mercy” (Gen. 18:30).
7. Abraham quit praying before God quit answering. “I must intercede one more time . . . 10 good people . . . will you spare?” (Gen. 18:32).
8. They departed each other. “I went on My way, and Abraham returned to his tent” (Gen. 18:33).
D. LESSONS TO TAKE AWAY
1. A holy God judged the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah. “I poured out fire and burning sulphur from heaven” (Gen. 18:24). Who else will God judge?
2. A merciful God will hesitate. Five times God agreed.
3. A patient God gives time to repent. “Some people think I am slow about keeping My promises . . . but I want everyone to repent and trust Me” (2 Peter 3:9).
4. A prayer-answering God will listen. Paul prayed, “My heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel (and all others) is, that they might be saved” (Rom. 10:1, KJV).
5. We can make a difference. “Some you will save by snatching them from the flaming hell” (Jude 23).
6. The prayer of faith is sometimes instantaneous. “Let God’s faith control you. If you will say to a mountain, ‘Be removed’ . . . you will receive . . . if you believe before you ask” (Mark 11:22-24).
7. The prayer of faith takes patient continued asking. “The continuous sincere prayer of a righteous man will accomplish much” (John 5:16).
8. Know God’s nature and your weakness as you work with Him. “We are workman together with God” (1 Cor. 3:9, KJV).
9. You can be a friend of God, just like Abraham. “You are My friends . . . because you know what I am doing” (John 15:14-15).
10. As a friend of Christ, you are invited to pray. “You are My friends . . . now whatever you ask My Father in My name I will gladly give to you” (John 15:16).
11. Your faith in prayer must be backed up with works. “Abraham demonstrated perfect faith by works . . . Abraham believed God . . . therefore, he was called a friend of God” (James 2:22-23).
E. SEVEN LESSONS
1. God will be encountered at unexpected times in your life.
2. God encounters you for a purpose.
3. You usually forget that God knows all about you.
4. You cannot lie to God.
5. You will be God’s friend when you know Him.
6. God will hear your prayer when you encounter Him.
7. You can influence God’s will in an encounter with Him.
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:
Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.