Thursday, 23 April 2009

Prayer, Abraham and me

Reading Genesis 18:16-33 it struck me how different Abraham's approach to prayer is to most of our praying. We know that we can 'boldly approach the throne of grace with confidence' (Hebrews 4:16) because we are in Christ - because of the wonderful promises of the new covenant in his blood. Abraham had also been the recipient of incredible covenant promises from God - in fact God had made those promises to him in person! He had reason to come with a certain degree of boldness to God in prayer!

But Abraham couples that boldness with a deep sense of his own unworthiness (vv27, 30, 31, 32). He openly recognises that he has no claim on God, and so makes his approaches with the deepest humility - even though he is pleading on the basis of what he knows to be sure - the character of God as absolutely just (v25). How often do you hear prayers (or pray prayers) that hold these two aspects in tension like that? Even though all those promises we have in Christ are gloriously true, we still need to remember what we are by nature - otherwise grace ceases to be amazing grace that thrills our hearts and becomes some kind of anaemic admission that, "Yes, I know I'm not all I should be..."

Do my prayers reflect a deep sense of my own sinfulness and awe at God's outrageous grace, or do I act as though I had a right to be heard simply because I'm 'standing on the promises'?

No comments:

Post a Comment