The privilege of prayer is the flagship proof that God created man to participate in His kingdom agenda and not just dangle from His fingers like a puppet. That a sovereign God welcomes mere human beings to touch His heart and affect His work is nothing less than stunning. A fresh read of Abraham's intercession for Sodom in Genesis 18 ought to leave us reeling with the privilege and responsibility of divine access.
"What if there are 50 righteous people, Lord? Would You spare the city of the judgment it has earned?" "Or five less than 50?" "What about 40 people, Lord?" 30? 20? 10?
Scripture calls Abraham by one of the most intimate titles in Holy Writ—"the friend of God." The freedom such closeness had granted him is illustrated nowhere more remarkably than in Abraham's intercession. He drew near to God the way God esteems most.
Figuratively speaking, Abraham approached the Maker of heaven and earth balanced on two knees: one of humility ("I who am but dust and ashes," v. 27, NKJV) and one of boldness ("I will speak but once more," v. 32). Without both knees pressed firmly to the ground, the intercessor tumbles in the dust with the first harsh wind of worldly resistance.
"The Judge of all the earth" will indeed do right. He cannot do otherwise. But He honors nothing more highly in all creation than a people who willingly align themselves with His agenda through the wonder of prayer.
John 1:12 tells us that "as many as received Him ... He gave the right to become children of God." By His sovereign authority, every child of God has been assigned certain inalienable rights and responsibilities. Chief among them is prayer.
Over and over God invites us on the pages of Scripture to "Ask!" Humbly. Believingly. Persistently.
To feel caught in the psychological trap of powerlessness is the furthest cry from the position we've been given as children of God. No matter what befalls us as a nation, at no time are we victims of a system. We are no further from change than the space of our knees to the ground.
Prayer penetrates doors we will never be privy to enter. Prayer breaks hearts that have been hardened by even the most ruthless pursuit of position. Prayer bridges the gap between the modest den of the meek and the highest places of government, where laws are made and bills are signed and officials wrestle against impossible odds.
Make no mistake. We are not powerless. We are not too remote and removed to make a difference. And we are not a few. If we would but get over our own quarrels and come together on our knees, seeking forgiveness for ourselves first and our country second, dust would fly. Change would come. And to us first.
God is enlisting people like Abraham today. People He can call friends of God. People who are willing to adopt His interests and put their reputations—even their lives—on the line for what is right.
God is enlisting men and women willing to take courage when they're mocked, willing to love when they are hated and willing to bless when they are cursed. God is calling individuals who grasp the fact that He is more concerned about a change of heart than a change of circumstance.
Indeed, sometimes He appoints circumstances to remain unchanged until hearts move. The veil is still open to the holy of holies through the wonder of prayer. There is still grace and mercy to be found in our desperate time of need. Let the thunder of a million knees quake the earth for good.
Beth Moore, founder of Living Proof Ministries, is the author of numerous well-known books and Bible studies, including Breaking Free, Believing God and The Patriarchs, which have been read and studied by women around the world. She appears weekly on Life Today with James and Betty Robison.