By Agbortem JC
Chosen by God to be the father of all nations, Abraham is indeed our model of faith. Yet there is more to that in the life of this friend of God. One of that is how he prayed to God in Genesis chapter 18 when told of the imminent destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
In this passage, we can understand that to pray is to converse with God. There is a give and take attitude here that should not be neglected as far as prayer is concern. Abraham speaks and listens; God speaks and listen. This kind of conversation can only take place between two people who understand themselves and can interact with one another closely. This is the prayer attitude of a friend of God. The following lessons can be drawn from the above passage:

How do we approach God?
Abraham approached God as a friend and child and so he was bold enough to ask God anything and even make God refrain from destroying Sodom. He was certain that he had an intimate relationship with God and so can ask whatever he wanted. He knew that he was a child of God and so has found favor in God’s sight. He approached God with such humility and hope that God spoke to him instantly. How do we go to God in prayers? Do we go to him as strangers or do we go to him as co-heirs of his kingdom with his son Jesus Christ?
We are God’s children by virtue of our baptism and he is our father. (There is no doubt about this). Like Abraham, we should approach God in prayers in total confidence and hope because he is our father and is present with us always though we do not see him with our physical eyes. He is always there spiritually to listen to us and talk to us in return. We must come before our father boldly and without fear because he loves us and we are his.

Do we tell God our mind?
Abraham spoke what was in his mind. He knew his brother Lot was in Sodom with his entire household and was pleading to God to spare the city and so his brother. Though he did not say this directly; but by reading through the passage, we can easily understand his position. He did not speak sweet words. He did not frame good sentences; he spoke what he felt and how he felt it.
Do we speak to God as we feel? In the book of Samuel chapter one, when Hannah prayed in the temple, she prayed as she felt not as she wanted that the Prophet thought she was drunk but she gave this response: "No, my lord, I am a woman in great distress, not drunk. I have not drunk wine or strong drink, but I am pouring out my soul before Yahweh. Do not take me for a bad woman. I was so afflicted that my prayer flowed continuously." 1st Samuel 1:15-16. She told the prophet she was pouring out her soul before Yahweh, which means she wanted God to see and understand what she was going through. This is what prayer is all about. If your soul is weeping, weep before the Lord, if your soul is in aguish pour it before your father who is ready to listen to you. Don’t pretend to be happy when you are not but do all this in the hope that God will answer your prayers. "When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father who is with you in secret; and your Father who sees what is kept secret will reward you." Matthew 6,6.
When Jesus asked the blind man what he wanted, he did not say anything other than what he wanted, “to see again” and his prayer was granted. When we talk to God from the depth of our mind, he listens to us and grants our request. We should not go before God with useless words and phrases. We should go before him with precised intentions and be serious about our intentions.

A child does not approach his father with fear especially when he knows that the father is always available to listen to his plea. We should not allow the devil to put fear or timidity in us when we are in the presence of God in prayers. Let not even our sins or weaknesses deprive us from the privilege of being God’s children. Romans 8:1-2.
God bless you!
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