In my Bible reading this morning, I came across the story of Abraham when he was pleading with the Lord (Genesis 18:16-33). God was about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah but Abraham knew that his nephew, Lot, and his family resided there. So, Abraham proceeded to ask the Lord to spare the cities.
Abraham asked if the Lord would destroy the cities if there were 50 righteous folks living there. The Lord said, “No.”
Abraham asked if there were 45 … “No.”
“40” … “No.”
“30” … “No.”
“20” … “No.”
“10” … “No.”
The Lord didn’t end this conversation. Abraham was the one who stopped asking. I am convinced that if he had gotten the number low enough, the cities would have been spared.
You cannot help but realize as this dialogue is taking place that the Lord was taking Abraham’s requests seriously and was willing to change His course of action. That’s incredible when you think about it! The very God of all Creation who reigns supreme upon Heaven’s throne listens to our requests … prayers that may cause Him to change His course of action and do what we request! Incredible!
“If we were really convinced that prayer changes the way God acts, and that God does bring about remarkable changes in the world in response to prayer, as Scripture repeatedly teaches that he does, then we would pray much more than we do. If we pray little, it is probably because we do not really believe that prayer accomplishes much at all.” (Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine”)