Summary: Series on men and women’s prayers in the Bible made a difference and how prayer truly is a difference maker in our lives. I borrowed the outlines from SermonCentral Pro Contributor Tim Byrd.
Abraham: Persistence in Prayer
Tonight we are going to be starting a series on prayer. For the next few Sundays we are going to be looking at men and women in the Bible who prayed prayers that made a difference and how those prayers should apply to our own prayers lives and as we all know prayer should be important to our lives and our relationship with God. Because when it comes having a relationship with God, one of the ways to keep that relationship with God vibrant is through prayer.
Tonight we are going to be looking at Persistence in Prayer and we are going to be using Abraham as our example so turn with me if you would to Genesis 18:26-33.
There was a pastor who had a parrot. All the parrot would say was, “Let’s pray, let’s pray.” The pastor tried to teach him to say other things but to no avail. He learned that one of his deacons had a parrot. The parrot would only say, “Let’s kiss. Let’s kiss.” So the pastor decided to invite the deacon and his parrot over to his house. When the deacon arrived they put the parrots into the same cage to see what would happen. The deacon’s parrot said, “Let’s kiss, let’s kiss.” The pastor’s parrot said, “Thank you, Lord. My prayers have been answered.” There’s great power in persistent prayer.
Tonight as we will read here in a minute, God here tells Abraham His plans to destroy Sodom & Gomorrah because of the sin and decay of the people in these cities. Now remember, God had promised Abraham two things when He called him. First, he would be the father of many nations. Second, he would live in the promise land. Back in chapter 13 Abraham’s nephew Lot, had parted ways and had chosen to live in Sodom & Gomorrah. Chapter 14 tells us how Abraham saves Lot’s life one time. Lot was taken captive when Sodom & Gomorrah was invaded. Abraham with his 318 trained servants rescued Lot from his captors then returned to this wicked city.
As we pick up our story, we see in Gen. 18:1-15 that 3 strangers visit Abraham. Some believe this to be angels of the Lord, some have said or described them as God the Father, God the Son & God the Holy Spirit. We are told God tells Abraham his plan to destroy the two cities of Sodom & Gomorrah, Abraham begins to intercede on behalf of his nephew Lot. Read Genesis 18:16-33.
I. He had the right qualities to be an intercessor.
1. The right attributes
A. He was a man of faith. He was a man that trusted the Lord God with all of his heart, soul, mind and strength. This was a man that trusted in the Lord and leaned not on his own understanding. This was the man who was 99 years old when God told him that he and his wife was going to have a son and they were to name him Isaac and Abraham believed. This is also the same man who took his son Isaac up on the mountain to sacrifice him because God told him too. No questions asked!
Abraham was a man of faith and church when it comes to prayer faith is the key ingredient, because without faith there is no need for you and me to pray. Without faith there is no God to talk too.
B. God considered him His friend. In Isa. 41:8 it says, “But you, O Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend…” Why did God consider Abraham His friend? Abraham had a relationship with God. He was one of God’s children
Church in order for us to intercede for others before God we have to make sure that we are God’s friend. We have to make sure that we personally have a relationship with Him. Because it’s with that relationship that we become friends with God and are able to go and talk to Him as a friend.
2. The right attitude.
A. He was unselfish. He was praying for others. He was thinking of others rather than himself. That’s a totally different attitude than the worlds. The world says it’s all about me, myself and I. God said and showed that it is about others. Remember that when we pray it’s not always about you. It is important that we pray for others.
B. He was humble. In v. 27 Abraham said, “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes…” We need to realize that when we approach God in prayer that we aren’t worthy. But because of God’s grace and mercy He has made us worthy. When Jesus died on the cross He made it possible for us to approach God. However, we need to humble ourselves by remembering the price that was paid just so that we can approach God. We are to come before God in Awe and Wonder that we have the honor and the privilege to be in the presence of God.