Reading: Genesis 18:22-33

27 Abraham answered and said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes.”

For our church:

Please pray that the Lord would grace us in such a way that our familiarity with our own weaknesses would be matched by a growing boldness to intercede for others.

Our teaching moment:

Humility fuels intercessory prayer. It recognizes human inability and acknowledges our continued frailty. Humility does not mask limitations but makes much of the unlimited, incomprehensible power of God. Abraham was humble. He boldly prayed, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes.” (Gen. 18:27) Dust? Abraham, are you truly dust? You, who are “rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold;” whose possessions are “very great;” and whose power is such that you battle kings and are victorious? (Gen. 13:2-6; 14:1-16) Abraham’s answer is “yes.” He not only declares himself “dust” which recalls creation and its dependence on the Creator but also adds “and ashes,”—a declaration of contrition and repentance. (Gen. 2:7; 3:19; Ps. 103:14; Job 30:19; 42:6; Jonah 3:6) Boldness and brokenness, a powerful combination when it comes to intercessory prayer. May all your praying be so characterized.

Prayers from the past:

We have obtained grace to give ourselves to you, Lord, through your mercy, and to one another.

To have communion with one another, as saints in one gospel fellowship, we agree and promise before God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ to walk together in this one gospel communion and fellowship as a church of Jesus Christ.

In love to the Lord and to one another, we endeavor to give sincere and hearty obedience to the laws, ordinances, and appointments of our Lord and lawgiver in his church.

We also agree and promise, the Lord assisting, to follow after the things which make for peace, the things with which we may build each other up.

So living and walking in love and peace, the God of love and peace may be with us. Amen.

[John Bunyan, cited in Elmer, Piercing Heaven, 157.]