/ Genesis 18 / Andrew Kerr

Intercessory Prayer


In light of huge need, before the Coming of the Lord, it is good to be reminded of the call to intercede.


How does Abraham, the Man of Faith, who had been growing in covenant grace, now seek the LORD for the sparing of imminent incineration of Sodom?

Intercession is Polite

Though it does not quite come across so obviously in the English versions of the Bible, repeatedly, throughout the sacred, supplicatory, encounter, a deferential, mannerly, tone is employed by the Patriarch in the presence of the LORD.

Intercession is Reverent

The Patriarch is aware of the greatness and glory of the God to whom he prays, as Divinely Covenant King. And so he says twice "let not the LORD be angry" which is literally "let not the LORD burn". He is very careful, to avoid all inflammatory or impudent remarks.

Intercession is Humble

Abraham is acutely aware that the Sovereign El Shaddai is Almighty God and far above him, a mere man. He readily concedes: "I am but dust and ashes". If the friend of God is to avail of the power of all-sufficient LORD, who recognizes him as a confidente, there must be recognition of the infinite distance in the Creator-creature distinction.

Intercession is Urgent

The angels proceeded on their reconnaissance mission to Sodom: the husband of Sarah knew this city was replete with wicked men; so, as it was in this place that some of his own family members resided, he stationed himself, stayed put with the LORD, and proceeded to pray. Abraham sensed the danger of this life-and-death, now-or-never, situation - without further ado or delay, he got down on his knees to do urgent business with the LORD.

Intercession is Persistent

Once he starts, Isaac's future father refuses to let up until he is satisfied that there is nothing more to be said: only when Yahweh goes on his way, after Abraham has boldly "bargained" God down to ten, is this relentless prayer-session drawn to a close.

Intercession is Intelligent

The believer who had been justified by grace, is also fully aware that the All-Earth-Judge is just: he states his case on the basis of the truth, and rests his confidence on the character of God.

Intercession is Loving

The man called from Ur had been despised by Sodom's King, who tried to claim a right to claw back what he had lost (after Abraham had returned from the rout of Chedorlaomer, in Genesis Chapter 14): if, perhaps, his primary aim is the rescue of Lot, and other close relatives, there is no hint of revenge or sour grapes - probably, at least, he shares the Spirit-filled thought, that God has no pleasure in the destruction of the wicked. It is hard to envisage Abram as cold and detached or disinterested in the result of his intercessory efforts - rather, it seems, the thoughts of Sodom's destruction filled him with alarm, just as the compassion of Christ flooded his face with teary rivulets over the Holy City that would put Him to death.

Intercession is Submissive

There is not even the slightest hint of disgruntled huffing or dispute from the friend of God whom Melchizedek had blessed: he willingly submits to the purpose of God for salvation through judgment - Abraham is certain God knows best and is confident He must do right.

Intercession is Godly

There is no attempt to set himself on a different course from God to dispute divine rectitude in bringing Sodom to an end: he knows that this evil spot was justly deserving of wrath, but he pleads for mercy, in according with His will.


Where do we get grace to intercede like that? Nowhere else, of course, but by drawing upon the strength of the intercessory heart of Christ! Jesus is both the Just Judge, who will come to take His people to Himself, and the Mediator of the Covenant of Grace who bore wrath for His Elect. Now glorified, He resides at God's Right Hand, to pour His Spirit out, to move our hearts to prayer to snatch some from the fire. His love for us, which interposes His blood, constrains and ignites holy intercession in us.

Andrew Kerr

Andrew Kerr

Pastor of Ridgefield Park NJ (NYC Metro Area) - Husband of Hazel, Dad to Rebekah, Paul & Andrew, Father-in-Law to Matt, Loves Skiing, Dog Walking. Passionate for Old Testament - in Deep Need of Grace

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