Abraham intercedes for Sodom
God given privilege of interceding for others. Devout Christians pray for friends, relatives, people in authority including political, judicial and executive government officials, missions, missionaries, unreached people groups, unsaved people, enemies…etc. However, do we Christians pray and intercede for cities?
Abraham pleads for the city of Sodom and Gomorrah. He was the first intercessor for a city. (Genesis 18: 16-33) Abraham can be considered as a trail blazer for urban missions and begins his mission to cities by intercession. Urban mission, for that matter, any mission has to begin with prayers and intercession.
In fact, Abraham prayed for a city which was guilty of many sins. Prophet Ezekiel writes: “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.” (Ezekiel 16:49) In other translations the words: Arrogance, overfed and unconcerned are used. Abraham chose to intercede for such a city, which shows his faith in God and concern for the city and its people. Cities are not built in a day. It takes decades for cities to be built and established. The destruction of cities is a great loss for humanity and hence Abraham pleads for God’s mercy.
Our faith in God is revealed in our concern for people. Faith and concern drives a disciple to plead in the presence of God. Abraham also understood the grace of God, which is mercy bestowed on those who do not even deserve it. The sins of Sodom was great, nevertheless, Abraham was bold to intercede for the wicked city.
His intercession was intensive, incisive and inspiring. Appealing to God’s righteousness, Abraham asked God: “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? (Genesis 18:23) And supplements his question with a probable presence of 50 righteous people in the city. Then he gradually decreases the number of righteous as 45, then 40, then 30, then 20 and at last 10. Six times he pleads for the city to be spared. As man of God, Abraham understood that God cannot spare a city if there are not even ten righteous persons are there. Hence, he stops his intercession. Instead of asking for general blessings for a city, Abraham mentions precise numbers and his expectations. Abraham’s intercession inspires us to plead, pray and intercede for our cities. Like Abraham, we understand the safety of a city is directly linked to the spirituality that exists among the people in that city.
Written by J N Manokaran for Movement Day Chennai