GROUNDS for intercession –
Abraham’s covenant relationship with God
Abraham had also experienced God’s grace many times so he wanted others to experience that same grace.
WE are in a covenant relationship with God, and have experienced His saving love – so we should want others to do the same!
Our relationship with God – v 19, John 15:14-16
14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants,
because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit- fruit that will last.
Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
God’s invitation to pray – v 17
Our own passionate concern – v 23. Abraham is concerned for the righteous in general, and for Lot and his family in particular. His prayer is a cry for mercy, not destruction: no apathetic “it’s their problem, not mine”
God calls us to have the same concern for our neighbours.
Matthew 9:35 ¶ Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep
without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the
workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
FORM of intercession
Standing before God – v 22
Approaching God – v 23 “Bold I approach the royal throne” – yet boldly vv 30-32
Humility – vv 27-28
Perseverance – v 32. “Tenacious intercession, 50, 45, 40, 30, 20, 10
1 ¶ Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God
nor cared about men. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, `Grant me justice against my adversary.’ 4 “For some time he refused. But
finally he said to himself, `Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!'” 6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says.
7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.
The unfair judge responds to persistence, how much more will the judge of all the earth do right
PURPOSES of intercession
To discover God’s will v 23-24
Appeal to God’s character – vv 25-26
Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?!
Concern for God’s glory and God’s name, So few in North Springfield bow the knee to Jesus Christ as saviour and Lord – so many worship false gods of money and entertainment
Changing God’s mind v 32. Intercession is simply going into God’s presence on behalf of others
Abraham knew THE LIMIT OF GOD’S PATIENCE – he stopped at 10, not 5, not 2, not 1
Abraham learned that although God is merciful, he is also just! God is the judge of all.
RESULTS of intercession
Changes within us: vv 17-19 Process of prayer refined and transformed Abraham
This is not so much a prayer of intercession as a prayer of formation, God changing Abraham. It’s a prayer of relinquishment –handing our lives over to God – “God, do whatever is right and I will trust you are doing the right thing – Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
Prayer is much more than merely God changing us, changing our perceptions and our expectations to align with God’s will. Intercessory prayer is indeed one way in which God’s children can play our part in the Father’s plan for the redemption of the world.
Changes in the world vv 23-29
Notice that Abraham’s prayer receives the answer “no”. Judgment still comes – but because of Abraham’s intercession Lot and his family are saved.
Question – who prayed for me to be saved? Who prayed for you to be saved? Now it is our turn to pray for North Springfield to be saved.
2 Chronicles 14:7
14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their
sin and will heal their land.
If we want God to move in power in North Springfield then He will – as long as we ask Him – as long as we pray. Abraham interceded for his family and for Sodom – will we intercede for our families and for our town?