“So the men turned from there and went towards Sodom but Abraham still stood before the Lord. Then Abraham drew near and said, ‘Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are 50 righteous persons within the city, will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the 50 righteous who are in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked so that the righteous fare as the wicked. Far be that from you. Shall not the judge of all the earth do what is just?’ And the Lord said, ‘If I find at Sodom 50 righteous in the city I will spare the whole place for their sake.” -Genesis 18:22–26
This conversation between Abraham and God continues in the verses that follow and Abraham just gets bolder and bolder and bolder all the way down to verse 32 he said, “Let not the Lord be angry. I will speak again but this once, suppose 10 righteous are found there?’ And God answered, ‘For the sake of 10 I will not destroy it.” The whole picture here is Abraham stepping in to intercede for the people of Sodom. Abraham boldly comes before God, appeals to God’s justice, to God’s character, to God’s righteousness and asks him to save, to spare people in Sodom.
In this passage, we see a picture of intercessory prayer.
And in this picture of intercessory prayer I want to encourage us when it comes to intercessory prayer for others around us, God has given you and me an invitation to come boldly before him on behalf of people in need around us, specifically sinners who are under his just and holy wrath. You and I have been invited by God, have the opportunity before God to come before him and to intercede for them. And I want to encourage us to take full advantage of this privilege and responsibility.
So even right now, I just want to pause and ask you who in your life, in your sphere of influence does not know Jesus right now? Who in your family, who among your friends, among your coworkers, among your neighbors does not know Jesus right now? And I want to invite all of us to intercede for them just like Abraham was doing before God on behalf of Sodom for us to intercede right now before God on behalf of people in our lives around us who don’t know him, who have not put their trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins for eternal life with God.
So God, we pray right now, we just come before you with the names and faces of family members, and friends, and coworkers, neighbors, people in our sphere of influence that we will see this week or who will communicate with over the coming days. God, we pray for your mercy on them. God, we pray for your salvation in their lives. God, we pray that you would open their eyes to their sin before you, your grace and love for them, your salvation in Jesus. God, we pray that you would bring your salvation to them. God, we pray that you would use us toward that end. You would help us this week today to proclaim the gospel to them, to share the gospel with them. God, we pray that the fruit of our lives would be the spread of your gospel and your salvation among these people that we are lifting before you right now. God we read pray knowing only you can do this, only you can open their eyes and their hearts, only you can save them from their sins and draw them to yourself. God, we pray that you would do it.
And God, as we pray for people in our spheres of influence we turn our eyes to the nations who have no one praying for them right now because there aren’t any followers of Jesus around them. God, we pray for the Balti people in India, this 100% Muslim people. God we pray that you would bring your salvation to the Balti people of India. God, we’re interceding for them together right now. We’re lifting our hearts and our voices to you. God, we pray please save the Balti people of India. Cause your grace, your salvation to be made known among them we pray. 7,000 other people groups in the world where the gospel’s not yet gone where there aren’t Christians praying specifically by name for faces and family members and friends and coworkers.
God, cause your gospel to go to the ends of the earth we pray. In your justice, oh God show mercy and use our lives, use your church to make the gospel known among all of them we pray. We praise you for this privilege of intercession and we pray that you would help us to be faithful in it. Hear our prayers oh God and answer we pray. With boldness, we pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.