Pray Without Ceasing

by Dody Gibson

It was a time of great stress for Abraham. God had promised three times that He would make of him a great nation (Gen 12:2, 13:16, 15:5) and as yet, he did not even have a son. Moreover, his nearest kin, Lot, a nephew, had separated himself from him and was living in an unholy environment in the city of Sodom. Chedorlaomer, leader of a confederacy against the cities of the plains, had taken, among other things, Lot, his family and all their possessions captive. Abraham, at risk to his own life and that of his servants, pursued them and smote them in a great victory. Lot and all his people and property were recovered.

It was not long after this that the Lord appeared to Abraham in the plain of Mamre. Three angles in the likeness of men, found him in the door of his tent in the heat of the day. God again promised him a son but there was also bad news. Sodom, Gomorrah and all the cities of the plain were to be destroyed for their wickedness. Abraham was greatly concerned for he knew that his nephew lived there.

So Abraham drew near the Lord and said, "Wilt Thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Wilt Thou not spare the city of Sodom for fifty?" Five more times Abraham makes requests for clemency: forty-five? forty? thirty? twenty? and ten? Abraham received all that he had asked. The Great Giver of all good blessings had answered each plea with yes.

One very obvious, unaltered fact remains. Abraham ceased asking before God stopped giving. It would be frivolous exercise to speculate as to what might have been the outcome if Abraham had continued to reduce the number in his supplication toward Sodom's fate. The worse possible consequence would have been a ‘no' answer from God and the cities would have been subject to the destruction that they eventually received anyway.

Pray without ceasing. (I Thes 5:17) It is not for us to know when we have prayed long enough for those problems that plague us in this life for the answer may be in the very next prayer. All the prayers of the faithful are answered and yes, sometimes the answer is no, but let it not be because we have given up.

One more thing about Abraham. He had prayed six times. The perfect or complete number is seven. We will always wonder how history might have been altered by just one more prayer.

And that's the Amazing Truth!
Millstadt, IL 62260

Dody Gibson See other articles by Dody Gibson