Bold Prayer Compilation

What do you think is the
most memorable prayer
in all of the Bible? I think you’ve got one, right? You’re probably thinking,
the Lord’s Prayer. What is the most memorable
prayer in the Old Testament? That’s a little bit harder and for me, it’s the first
long-recorded prayer in Genesis, chapter 18. And here’s,
kind of, the story behind it. Abraham is living in
this area near a town called Sodom and another
town called Gomorrah. And his nephew, his relative,
lives inside that town. And God comes to him.
We’ve got to back up 25 years. God comes to him about
25 years earlier and says, “Abraham, you’re going to be a
father of a great nation and all these
countries are going to be blessed through you.” Now, it’s 25 years later. It’s been crickets
on the pro-creative front. Nothing is happening. And then God says,
“Within a year you’re going to
have your own baby.” And you can imagine
the joy of this moment. As Abraham and Sarah,
his wife, take this in. They have not gotten
pregnant all these years. And suddenly, through
miraculous means, they’re
going to have their own baby. And then on their way out
God says, “And by the way, the outcry against Sodom
and Gomorrah is so great,
I have to destroy it.” Wow. Like, deflating balloon as we try and figure this out. What was the sin that
Sodom and Gomorrah did
that is so devastating? This is what it says
in Ezekiel, chapter 16. So, when I heard this
story as a kid, and I think
maybe you know this story. As Abraham negotiates with
God with, like, this bold
and this persistent prayer. I always thought, man, like the
people of Sodom and Gomorrah were, like, the worst. In fact, this is true. In my sandbox, as a kid, we
had this sandbox underneath
a two-story playhouse. It was awesome,
that my dad built. We would set up these
stone pavers and we would
knock them down with balls. And say that this is
God’s destruction on
Sodom and Gomorrah. We thought it was great. Like, they deserved it. They’re the worst people ever. But then, as an adult, what did God say was
the indictment against
Sodom and Gomorrah? They were overfed, arrogant. Could these
things be said about you, me? They were unconcerned. They didn’t take
care of the poor. Have you ever done
detestable things? This changes the whole
perspective for me because there is a day and
there is a moment there is a day and
there is a moment
that you and I have to
stand before Almighty God. that you and I have to
stand before Almighty God. And we can ask a simple
question just like Abraham. Abraham had a question,
“God, for the sake of
50 righteous people, will you save the rest of
Sodom and Gomorrah?” And I think we have
a little bit different prayer. “God, for the sake of one holy, just human being, who was
true God and true man, will you save me?” God’s answer is always, “Yes.” So let’s go to him in prayer. Heavenly Father,
Son and Holy Spirit, As we look at this prayer of
boldness and persistence, a prayer that cares
for all people, help us to reflect
on our own life. Not the judgement of the
world, but instead, let’s
take a look at our own heart. That in your mercy, you took on the wrath and the
punishment that we deserved and you’ve given us a
freedom to live for you. Help us to live in
joy in that freedom of
forgiveness and grace. We ask this in your name. Amen. Let me ask you this. Have you ever wondered if God
really wants to hear from you? Me too. And we’re looking at
one of the boldest, most persistent prayers
in all of the Bible. This is in Genesis, chapter 18. Abraham is getting
ready to pray to God. But here’s a little
bit of the background. As God invites Abraham to
have this discussion with him, have this prayer with him. We’re going to start,
we’re going to look
at a number verses, so you’ve got to stick with me. We’re going to
start with verse 16. It says, These are the two
angels with God. This is key. So this is part one, right? God says, “Shall I hide from
Abraham what I’m about to do?” Now, imagine this. You’ve got this young couple
and they’re your kids, right? Your son and his wife. And they’re sitting there
and they look at each other
with sheepish eyes, like, “Should we tell them?” Like, what are they
about to tell you? A. If they’re married,
they’re going to tell you
that they have a baby coming. Or, if they’re not married,
they’re going to tell you, “We’re engaged,” right? This is the thing. If someone says to you,
“Should we tell them?” You know that they’re
about to tell you. So, that’s what
has just happened. God said to Abraham,
“Should we tell him?” We know it’s coming. Next, it says verse 20, This sounds a
little bit strange. But how is this an invitation
to have a conversation? God is saying, “Okay, the
situation in Sodom is terrible. But, I’m going to go
take a look to see if
it’s as bad as I think.” God is, in a sense, inviting
Abraham to say, “I haven’t
quite made my decision.” And that’s a whole different
theological discussion. “But I haven’t quite
made my decision. But I’m going to go
down and see if this is
what this situation is.” He’s saying to Abraham,
“Okay, I’ve told you the thing. Now I want to know, I’m opening the door
a little bit to have a
conversation about them.” And so Abraham is
hearing this, right? He wants to plead for Sodom. The final thing goes like this. So we have this amazing
exchange where God has told
him the secret information. He has said, “I haven’t quite
made my decision up.” So he’s, kind of, opening
the door for discussion. And then, finally,
they’re alone. And so Abraham seizes
on this opportunity. It’s persistent and it’s
bold and you’re going
to hear this prayer tomorrow, like, how
amazing this is. And the confidence
that Abraham had. And you think,
“You know what? God has never really asked
me to pray to him.” But I would disagree. Maybe it’s your shame or
guilt keeping you away from
a conversation with God. But Jesus has come and
paid for all your sins. Jesus says, “Come to me, you
who are weary and burdened. And I will give you rest.” God says, “Cast all your anxiety
on me because I care for you.” God, like that loving father, wants you to sit in his lap
and tell you what’s going on in your life and
God wants to listen. And God wants to care. And God wants to do
something about it. Has God ever asked you
to come and talk to him? He certainly has. So, let’s do that. Heavenly Father, you invite us to sit in your lap and to pray. You invite us to come with all
our concerns and worries. We don’t have to worry about
our shame and our guilt. Because you’ve
taken care of that. So, empower us and encourage us to come
to you more and more with whatever requests we have. We ask this in our
Savior’s name, who
allows us to pray to you. Amen. Have you ever wondered
who you should pray for? Or whom, who you
should pray for? Either one, you
can figure it out. And I do too, sometimes. I want to give you a scenario. You tell me your prayer. Hypothetically, you just dropped
your daughter off at school. Just a month ago. And you hear, and all cell phone
communications are wiped out. But you hear that there’s
a dorm fire in her dorm. What is your prayer? Hypothetically, your best friend
goes into the most despicable prison around. Where there’s totally
unrepentant people that are doing all these things. Pedophiles and murderers. And what is your prayer if you
find out that there is a riot and you have no communication? My guess is, if you’re
anything like me, “Dear Lord, Help my daughter
come home safe. Dear Lord, Help my best
friend get out of there safely.” Listen very closely
to Abraham’s prayer. Because it’s a
little bit different. He’s got a relative that’s
in Sodom and Gomorrah and they just heard that this is
going to be utterly destroyed. But his prayer is a
little bit different,
and it’s very, very bold. He says to God in his face, Like, wow! That’s a pretty serious prayer. That’s a pretty serious prayer.
And a bold request. And a bold request. He’s saying, “God,
for fifty people, will you destroy all the rest?” We could say it a
little bit differently. His prayer is not, “God,
will you just let Lot and his daughters out of the
town and just destroy the rest?” Instead, he says, “For the sake
of the good people, those who follow and love you, will you spare the rest?” So, what’s the takeaway? I think the takeaway for
me is a lot of my prayers are dwelling on me and the
people that I love. I sometimes forget
all the other people. So, maybe this is just
a little bit of a shift. “God, when I think about
who you are and how
much you love people, how about you take care of
my family and everybody else? God, when I think
about the people that
don’t know who you are, maybe it makes some sense to give them a
little bit more time so that they can hear your
message that changes lives.” I can think of a prayer
that’s a little bit similar. I can think of a prayer
that’s a little bit similar.
There isn’t one like Abraham’s. There isn’t one like Abraham’s. Because Moses prays for
the people of Israel. And Jeremiah prays for
the people of Israel. No one else prays for everyone, except maybe one when you think about criminals. As Jesus stands on the
cross and says, “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.” That is our heart and
that’s our prayer. To look at the world as a
whole and pray for them. Let’s do that now. Heavenly Father,
Son and Holy Spirit, So often our prayers
are self-centered. But you give us a boldness
when we know who you are. That you love not
just your believers. But you love the whole world. So we pray that we have
a mind a heart that sees
the world as a whole. And we can pray
that your message reaches more and more
people so that more and more reaches more and more
people so that more and more
people can know the peace people can know the peace of what it means to come
to a Heavenly Father that listens to them. We ask this in your name. Amen. How do you feel when
you are punished for
someone else’s problem? Not my favorite
thing in the world. Especially in our culture. I’m okay, if I do
something wrong, then I
receive the punishment. Or I receive the ticket,
or I receive whatever. I’m not so okay when someone
else does something and I take the blame. Here’s kind of what happens. If you grew up in a big family
you recognize pretty fast that life is not always fair. that life is not always fair.
I had three brothers
and a sister. I had three brothers
and a sister. If one of the kids
was goofing around, it very likely meant
that the whole family
did not get ice cream. There’s a little bit of
self-policing that then happens. But we get the idea, right? You don’t get ice cream
because someone else
did something wrong. Now, escalate this a little bit. We have a story in the
book of Joshua, chapter 7. A man named Aiken. They went into the town. They went into the town.
Joshua and his men. Joshua and his men. They went into this
town called Ai. And God said,”Leave
all the valuables there.” Instead, Aiken takes
this valuable thing. He buries it in his tent. But then word gets out that
someone has stolen something. And so it’s, kind of, this
chilling account in Joshua 7, as it goes from tribe
to, I think, clan, to family. And soon it’s Aiken and
his whole family standing before the people
and the elders. And the earth opens up. And in his guilt,
swallows all of them. So, this isn’t just ice cream. We’re talking about life and
we’re talking about death. How does it make you feel to know that Adam and Eve have
sinned and, because of that, you are born sinful? I don’t like it so much. What we’re going to look at,
in our prayer of Abraham, which is kind of a
fascinating thing, is Abraham is going to
try to look at it from
a different perspective. Instead of saying, “Obviously, all these people
have done wrong. Now I have to receive
the punishment.” Abraham is asking a simple
question when he comes to God. “For the sake of fifty
righteous people, would it be okay that
everyone would be saved?” And that’s a little
bit different. It’s saying, “If someone truly
knows you and loves you, God, are you willing to
forgive everyone else?” And, I think, as we get ready
to stand before God, that’s the principle we
really want to know. As I stand before you,
as my maker, God, here’s my question. “For the sake of one holy being,
are you willing to forgive me?” And God’s answer always is, “Yes.” Let’s pray. Heavenly Father,
Son and Holy Spirit, We look at earnest as
a very serious story. That because of the
sin of many people, all of us receive
that punishment. That we live in a sinful world. We were born sinful
because of Adam and Eve. We ask that, on the last
day, that you look at this
a little bit differently. And you promise that you do. That for the sake of one
who is righteous, Jesus, who went to the cross
holy and perfect, that you’re willing to forgive,
not just the sins of the world, but you’re willing to
forgive my heart as well. We ask this in your name. Amen. This week we’re looking
at one of the boldest, one of the most relentless
prayers in all of the Bible. And I always thought as
a kid, like, what if I
could pray like Abraham? What if I had that
kind of courage to pray and just ask, right before God’s face? before God’s face?
We have this picture where
God has invited Abraham
to stand before him. We have this picture where
God has invited Abraham
to stand before him. And now he’s making
this request. And this is what he
says in verse 22. This is verse 23. And then he continues. And this is the key
verse, verse 27. I think this is a challenge
that we have as believers. Part of it is
recognizing who God is. And that’s exactly
what Abraham did. And that’s exactly
what Abraham did.
So, in that boldness, knowing
that God loves people. So, in that boldness, knowing
that God loves people. That God love righteousness. That God loves his believers. He knew he could ask boldly. He knew he could ask boldly.
And, actually, in a
sense, get in God’s face. And, actually, in a
sense, get in God’s face. And say, “God, I
demand this of you.” But then suddenly, do
you recognize what’s
happening to Abraham? In the back of his mind he says, “Though I am just dust
and ashes, I have no right
to be talking to you.” Well his prayer continues
and it is amazing. He goes from fifty
people to forty-five and then forty and then
thirty and then twenty. Then finally, he’s like,
“I can’t believe I’m doing this. God, for the sake of
ten righteous people, will you save the whole town
of Sodom and Gomorrah?” And God says,
“For ten I will do it.” Then the verse says
Abraham went home. He was done. And here’s the
challenge, I think. As persistent and as bold
as this prayer was, he knew Lot lived in
that town, his nephew. He didn’t go,
“God, for the sake of Lot, just one person, will you just forgive
the whole city?” He gave up. He walked away. And I think this is a challenge
with our own boldness. If you’d say, If you’d
just think about what
God has done for you. That God loves you. That you’re forgiven. That God says, “Ask and it
will be given to you.” What kind of boldness
does that give you? Like, this is on the one side. But on the other side, I just
remember who I am. And I remember my own guilt and my own frailty
and my own sin. And so while I’m
trying to get bold in my predictions and
my requests of God, I just remember where I’m at. And it, kind of, pulls
these requests down. What if I told you that
Christ never gave up on you? What if I told you that
Christ came to this earth and wiped away all our
sin and guilt and shame? What kind of boldness would you
have in your prayers this year? What kind of boldness would
you have to come before God? What kind of persistence
would you have? Would you give up in prayer,
knowing that we have a God who loves you? Who wants to answer
your prayers? And he doesn’t even see
you as a sinner any longer. But, holy and precious
and his child. I think that changes
the way we pray. I think that changes
the way we pray.
And I think, maybe, And I think, maybe, we could be a little bit bolder, a little bit more persistent and a whole lot bigger. Let’s pray. Heavenly Father, our prayers
are simply too small. You’ve taken our sin away. You want to answer our prayers. Help us to think bigger and how we can save
not just ourselves, through your Son, but let’s
think on a bigger scale what you can do in this earth. What would it look like if
all believers boldly prayed
the way that Abraham did? What would it look like if
all believers boldly prayed
the way that Abraham did?
And instead of giving up, And instead of giving up, go all the way to you. And make the biggest request
that we can think of. We ask this in your
name, boldly, in Christ. Amen.

3 thoughts on “Bold Prayer Compilation

  1. Thank you for reminding us that during this time of political evil we must pray for the good people. It seems like America has lost good and evil is among us everywhere. Let’s pray for the good and may God bless America

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