READING: Genesis 18-19, Matthew 6:1-18
“So it was, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, He remembered Abraham and brought Lot out of the middle of the upheaval when He demolished the cities where Lot had lived.” Genesis 19:29
Living as a Christian is not an individual sport. We stand best in this battle when we have others praying for us, as Abraham’s intercession for Lot illustrates in today’s reading.
Lot, whom Peter described as a righteous man (2 Pet 2:7-8), lived in a wicked city, so wicked that men of all ages sought to have sex with male guests and then ignored the judgment of God when angels struck them blind. It’s no wonder that God had decided to destroy the city. God gave Abraham warning of the coming judgment, and Abraham began to passionately and persistently intercede for the righteous in that city. Repeatedly, he asked God, “Will You really sweep away the righteous with the wicked?” (Gen 18:22). God agreed that He would stay the judgment if only ten righteous people were in the city, but ten could not be found.
Lot was one of the few righteous men there. Even he, though, came dangerously close to following the patterns of their culture when he offered his own daughters to the lustful men of the city. Then, after the angels had warned Lot that judgment was coming, still he lingered in the city. He was righteous, yet even he risked judgment because he hesitated in his response. Indeed, he escaped the judgment not because he quickly obeyed the angel’s command to flee the city, but “because of the Lord’s compassion for him” (Gen. 19:16). The Lord sent His angels to seize Lot’s hand and escort him out just in time.
Why did Lot get out? First, God’s grace trumped Lot’s desire to stay. Second, the Lord remembered Abraham’s prayers. In response to the deep intercession of a burdened man, God protected Lot from the judgment to come. The angels were a supernatural response to Abraham’s prayer.
Who is praying for you that way today? Who is asking God to guard you and keep you from the evil of the world? And, for whom are you praying? Anyone who is traveling the Christian journey alone is bound to fall into a pit, but believers who travel together are less likely to fall.
- Think about the people who have prayed for you through the years. Thank God for them.
- Take time today to intercede for other believers – especially for those who are living and serving in morally dark areas.
PRAYER: “God, thank You for those who’ve prayed for me. Give me the passion of Abraham to pray for others.”
TOMORROW'S READING: Genesis 20-22, Matthew 6:19-34