Abraham’s Prayer for the City – Gospel in Life

Abraham’s Prayer for the City

Tim Keller |  September 30, 2007

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  • Prayer & Meditation
  • The Bible
  • Salvation
Genesis 18:16-33
RS 198-1


What does real spirituality and connection with God truly mean? Real spirituality is knowing a God who comes to you and changes the way your heart works.

We are exploring Biblical case studies of people who had authentic and life-changing encounters with God. This message centers around the dialogue between Abraham and God. What do we learn from this text? Three things: 1) How Abraham prayed; 2) Why he was able to pray like that; and 3) How we can get what he had and more.

Genesis 18:16–33

True spirituality, based on the Bible, is more than just believing; it involves actively engaging with God, who is living, speaking, and changing our hearts and lives through His Word. By looking at examples in the Bible, we’ll see how people had deep spiritual experiences with God through prayer. One such story is in Genesis 18, where we see Abraham talking with God. This story gives us a glimpse into Abraham’s prayer life and how we can build a similar relationship with God.

1. How Abraham prayed

Abraham’s prayer has three important features: it’s a response to God’s words, it balances being close to God and being humble, and it focuses on praying for others. Abraham’s conversation with God isn’t started by him, but is a response. This challenges the idea that prayer is just about asking for what we want. Abraham’s prayer is bold yet respectful, showing a balance of being close to God and being humble. And when he prays for the people of Sodom, even the ones he doesn’t like, he shows us we should pray for our communities and even people we might not get along with.

2. Why he was able to pray like this

Abraham’s prayers show that he understood God to be fair and good. He asks God to save the good people in Sodom and Gomorrah. He struggles with the idea of fairness and mercy, suggesting that a few good people might save many, but also recognizing that no one can truly be good without God’s help. This points to the need for a Savior, like Jesus Christ, who prays for all of us, asking for forgiveness and offering salvation even to those who don’t deserve it.

3. How we can get what he had and more

Abraham’s understanding of God’s goodness and love shows us why we need a way for those who don’t deserve it to be saved, while still maintaining God’s fairness. The gospel helps us understand that we are sinners but still loved by God. This creates a dynamic relationship with God through Jesus and helps us recognize evil without falling into harsh judgment. It encourages us to ask big things from God, knowing He is powerful and loving, and to impact the world just like Abraham did.




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