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Genesis 18:16-33
Stephen Caswell © 2004
Judge Black’s - Previous Engagement
Judge Black, of Georgia, when he was a young lawyer, was invited to deliver an address of welcome to the Governor of the State on Monday evening.
He took great pains to prepare his address, but a telegram came on Monday, saying that the Governor’s visit would be deferred till Wednesday evening.
Mr. Black at once wrote the committee that a previous engagement would prevent his being present on Wednesday evening.
Few persons besides the pastor of his church knew that the previous engagement was the regular weekly prayer-meeting which the young Christian lawyer had set apart as sacredly devoted to the public worship of God; and no service to man or State, though it might be for his own promotion, could deter him from his purpose.
/ /
/Are you a good intercessor?
Do you pray earnestly for the needy?
Do you persist in prayer until God answers?
What priority does prayer have in your life?
If you believe prayer is important do you attend the Church prayer meetings?
/This evening I would like to look at the subject of prayer a little more deeply.
/Are there any conditions that God requires of us before He will grant our requests?/
We will look at 3 things.
*/Our Conduct, Our Concern, Our Communication./*
/Firstly,/     Our Conduct
Good intercessors conduct themselves appropriately; */obedience, fellowship & God's will.
Obedience is very closely related to answered prayer.
God doesn’t answer many of our prayers because of disobedience.
Disobedience is rebellion against God! /Will God bless us if we rebel against Him?/ /How can He grant our requests yet ignore our sin?/
He can't!
*Psalm 66:18:* /If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear.
/Obedience is the first condition of answered prayers.
*1 John 3:21-22: */Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.
And whatever we ask we receive from Him,* because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.
*/Because Abraham obeyed God, the Lord blessed Him.
God answered His prayers.
I want to look at three specific ways that Abraham obeyed God. 
*Faith - Leaving His Home In Ur*
*Genesis 12:1-4:* /Now the Lord had said to Abram: Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you.
I will make you a great nation.
So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him.
And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran./
It required a lot of faith for Abraham to leave his home in Ur of the Chaldees.
*Hebrews 11:8* says that Abraham /went out not knowing where he was going./
The Lord didn't tell him.
Abraham had lived in Ur for sixty or seventy years.
When Abraham heard God's call he obeyed.
He forsook his home and left.
Abraham had great wealth and possessions in Ur, yet He gave it all up at the Lord's command; that's obedience and faith.
He lived all his days in Canaan as a traveler.
He trusted the Lord to provide for his needs.
He dwelt in tents with Isaac and Jacob.
*/Abraham was willing to step out in faith and obey God./*
*Sacrifice - His Only Son Isaac*
*Genesis 22:2-3: */Then God said, Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.
So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him./
/ /
Abraham also put God before his family.
God promised Abraham and Sarah a son.
They had to wait some 25 years for this promise to be fulfilled.
Then God asked Abraham to present his only son as a sacrifice on Mount Moriah.
Again, Abraham obeyed God.
We know, God restored Isaac to Abraham again, but he had no guarantee that this would happen.
Yes, Abraham's sacrifice was very real.
Obedience usually costs us something.
But the reward makes it worth while.
*/Abraham was willing to make costly sacrifices to obey God./*
*Values - Ruling His Home*
*Genesis 18:19: */For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice, that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him./
Not only did Abraham obey God, he also taught his family to obey God.
Abraham ruled his home with God's values.
He always put God first and he taught his children to do the same.
He taught them the way of the Lord.
He instructed them about their covenant with God.
This is seen by the effort he made to find a godly wife for Isaac.
Abraham put God first.
No wonder he is called /the friend of God/.
*Abraham ruled his home well.
He taught his children to obey God.
*/Obedience is the first condition of answered prayer./
Fellowship is the second condition of answered prayer.
*John 15:7 says:* */If you abide in Me/*/, and *My words abide in you*, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you./
To abide in Christ is to enjoy the Lord's fellowship.
Remember Paul’s command to the Thessalonians, */pray without ceasing.
/*/God wants us to *walk and talk* with Him each day./
He wants us to spend time alone in His presence.
God desires to meet with us so that He can reveal Himself to us.
Abraham regularly experienced this kind of fellowship in his life.
*Genesis 12:7-8: */Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, To your descendants I will give this land.
And there he built an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him.
And he moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord./
God spoke to Abraham.
He shared many secrets with him.
Abraham offered sacrifices for his sin and called on the Lord.
If we want to be good intercessors we must spend time alone with the Lord.
We must grow in our relationship with Him.
We can't expect to be good intercessors if we don't know the Lord.
/How/ /can we pray confidently to a stranger?
/It’s/ /impossible!/
Fellowship is the 2nd condition of answered prayer./
/ /
Carver On Prayer/   Dr.
George Washington Carver/
My prayers seem to be more of an attitude than anything else.
I indulge in no lip service, but ask the great God silently, daily, and often many times a day, to permit me to speak to Him.
I ask Him to give me wisdom, understanding and bodily strength to do His will.
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