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The Prayer of a Believer

November 25, 2019
By Martin Luther

So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow.

GENESIS 19:29

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The Prayer of a Believer

What Moses has here added about Abraham is intended as a praise of prayer, for he clearly declares that God saved Lot not so much because of his own righteousness as because of the prayer of believing Abraham. (For Lot had already begun to be in danger because of his disobedience and delay. Therefore the angels chide him and say: "Lest you perish in like manner"; but his wife sinned more dangerously and for this reason was punished more severely.) It is as though Moses were saying: "God loved Abraham so much that He saved Lot because of him, for He did not want the heart of saintly Abraham to be saddened endlessly but left him this comfort, lest he have sorrow upon sorrow." Thus in all the accounts of the saints you see trouble alternating with deliverance, suffering with comfort, and tears with joy. Therefore they are the true Atlases who bear heaven on their shoulders, that is, sustain the burden of divine wrath and in such great disasters still keep their trust in mercy, even though they see the opposite. In the end they experience how great the power of believing prayer is.

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