Perseverance! This is the underlying message we witness by the faith of Abraham from the Old
Testament. As you may recall, last week we heard of Abraham’s encounter with the three visitors and the promise of a son (Genesis 18:1-10). Today we hear of Abraham’s bargaining with God over the fate of Sodom. This story expresses our need to pray for ourselves and for others, not because we can change God with our prayers, but through our prayers we are changed. We can more fully understand the mercy of God. Abraham’s encounter with the Lord also shows that prayers are heard!

Jesus continues to encourage us to bring all our cares to Our Father, and sets a new standard for our relationships with others. As we petition God to “forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who are indebted to us”, we are called to move from the desire to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, to do unto others as we would wish almighty God would do unto us. This is a calling to a higher level of compassion and mercy.

“What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?” Our Lord uses the example of human parenthood as a comparison to emphasize again the wonderful fact that God is our Father, and God’s Fatherhood is the source of parenthood in heaven and on earth. Don’t lose heart, Our Father hears our prayers and loves us more than we can imagine!

By Deacon Dave Arms