by Linda Sue Pochodzay Edwards
Text Version | Afrikaans
"Awww, Mom! We don't want to go to the prayer meeting tonight," Kara and Eric complained as they were sitting at the table eating their dinner. "It's boring, and, besides, no one else our age goes!" They continued trying to convince their mother to let them stay home, but in their hearts they knew their efforts were not going to do any good.
"Number one, It doesn't matter how old you are; everybody needs to pray. And number two, I don't think you realize how important the prayers of just one person can be," Mother patiently explained.
"But I don't really know how to pray. My prayers just don't sound good and they probably don't do any good anyway," Kara said with a frown.
Their mother tried to help the two children understand by explaining that prayer is simply the act of talking to God. "If you can talk to people," their mother said, "then you can talk to God. A simple prayer prayed from the heart is often much more effective than a prayer that has been carefully composed." She continued, "God doesn't expect you children to pray the same way an adult prays. God expects a child to pray like a child, and your prayers are every bit as important to Him as the prayers of an adult."
Abraham and his three guests had just finished having a delicious meal together. As they moved away from the dinner table, the men thanked Abraham for his gracious hospitality, then went on their way toward Sodom. Abraham had no idea that the three men he had just had dinner with were the Lord and two angels. Unlike pictures we see, these angels didn't have wings, and there was nothing particularly special about them. They looked and acted like normal men.
As the Lord and the two angels were walking down the road, the Lord said, "Abraham is a righteous man and will raise his children in a godly manner. He will become a great nation. I don't want to keep any secrets from him, so I'm going to turn back and tell him what we are going to do."
The Lord turned back and began explaining to Abraham, "Sodom and Gomorrah and all the areas around them are very, very wicked. I am going to destroy all these cities and everything in them because they won't repent."
Abraham became quite concerned because his nephew, Lot, lived in the city of Sodom. He loved Lot very much and didn't want to see anything bad happen to him. Abraham also recognized that the man speaking to him was not really a man, but the Lord. Abraham began talking to the Lord and asking that his nephew, Lot, not be harmed.
"Lord, are you going to destroy the righteous people along with the wicked?" Abraham asked. "If there are fifty righteous people, will you please save the city?"
The Lord agreed with Abraham that if there were fifty godly people, the city would not be destroyed.
Abraham thought about that for a moment. He knew the people in the city of Sodom, and he wasn't sure that there were fifty righteous people there. He spoke to the Lord again. "Lord, I know you are a just God and will do what's right. What if there are only forty-five godly people? Will you destroy the city if there are five less?"
The Lord saw Abraham's distress and lowered the number even more. He said He would not destroy the city if He could find forty righteous people.
Abraham thought about the situation and wasn't quite sure there were even forty people in the city that loved God. "Lord, please don't be angry with me," Abraham said humbly. "What if there are only thirty? Could you save the city for thirty godly people?"
The Lord was not at all angry with Abraham. He saw Abraham's deep compassion for Lot and the other people. The Lord didn't really want to destroy the city either because he is loving and compassionate, but he had given them many chances and they wouldn't repent. They must be punished to keep the wickedness from spreading. "If there are thirty righteous people, the city will not be destroyed," the Lord told Abraham.
"But Lord, what if there are only twenty people who are godly? I know you are a just God. You wouldn't destroy the twenty godly people along with the wicked would you?"
"No, Abraham. I will not destroy the godly with the wicked. If there are twenty righteous people, the city will be saved," the Lord said.
Abraham talked to the Lord one more time as he was thinking of Lot and his family. "Oh Lord, please, please don't be angry with me. Would you allow me to speak once more?" The Lord gave him permission to speak. "Surely there must be ten righteous people in the city of Sodom. Will you please save the city if there are ten?"
The Lord agreed with Abraham's request that He would not destroy the city if He could find ten godly people. Abraham was satisfied with that arrangement and his prayer was finished. The Lord went on His way, and Abraham returned home.
The Lord and the two angels went through Sodom, Gomorrah, and the surrounding cities to see if they could find ten righteous people. They searched and searched, but sadly they could not find even ten people who loved God. God always keeps his word and according to the agreement, the cities would all have to be destroyed.
The Lord remembered Abraham's great love for his nephew. He sent the two angels to Sodom to speak with Lot. When Lot saw the two men on the street, he invited them to come to his house for a meal, then invited them to spend the night at his house. Like Abraham earlier in the story, Lot didn't know that his guests were angels sent by the Lord.
That evening, the angel men revealed the reason for their visit. "God is going to destroy Sodom, Gomorrah, and all the surrounding cities. Gather your family and a few belongings and go to the mountains where you will be safe," they instructed Lot.
Early the next morning, Lot went to visit his married daughters to tell them and their husbands to prepare to leave because the cities were going to be destroyed, but they would not come. Their husbands only laughed because they didn't believe in God and didn't think it was really going to happen.
Lot, his wife, and two daughters that were still living at home began preparing to leave. They had trouble packing because there were so many things they loved and thought they would need. They didn't want to leave anything behind. In fact, they really didn't want to leave at all. They were living a prosperous life in Sodom and didn't fully understand why they had to go.
The angel men said they were spending way too much time, and grabbed them by the hand, and rushed them out of the city, leaving almost everything behind. "Please!" Lot begged."Do we have to go to the mountains? That's a long way and I just don't think I can make it. There is a little town not too far from here. Can we please go there?"
The angel men were patient with Lot and agreed that they could go to the little town called Zoar. "But you must hurry. Run as fast as you can and don't look back," the angels instructed them. Lot and his family ran toward Zoar and the angel men left them.
Just as they were nearing the little town, fire rained down from heaven. Lot's wife was remembering her home and all that she had left. She disobediently looked back to see what was happening to her beloved home and city. Because of her disobedience, she was turned into a statue of salt. Lot and his two daughters kept running and safely made it to the little town of Zoar.
Sodom, Gomorrah, and all the surrounding cities, towns, and villages were destroyed by the fire and brimstone just as God had said. Because of God's mercy and Abraham's compassion and prayers, Lot and his two daughters were saved from the destruction. And because of Lot, the little town of Zoar was not destroyed.
What is Prayer?
Why did Abraham pray about the cities?
Did God keep His word?
How were Lot and his daughters saved?
The prayers of one person can make a huge difference.
A VERSE TO LEARN:
"The Lord...is not willing that any should perish
but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9).
ALTERNATE VERSE TO LEARN:
"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous
man availeth much" (James 5:16b).
Dear God, Thank You for Your great love and
compassion for all people. Help us to be kind
and love one another as You love us.
In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen
CAN YOU FIND THIS STORY IN THE BIBLE?
Genesis 18:16-19:3 and 19:12-29
Sodom and Gomorrah
Lot And His Daughters
James 5:16b Coloring Page
Color, Cut, Scramble 2 Peter 3:9
Bible Color and Learn: Abraham Book 4
Lot Crossword Puzzle
Lot And His Daughters Jigsaw Puzzle
Help Lot Find Zoar - Maze
Sodom and Gomorrah Crossword Puzzle
The Five-Finger Prayer
How To Pray For Missions
Praying Hands Connect The Dots
Sodom and Gomorrah (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
Cut and Scramble 2 Peter 3:9
Praying Hands Craft (1)
Praying Hands Craft (2)
Make a Puppet (scroll down the page to find them)
The Story of Sodom and Gomorrah
Abraham--God's Brave Explorer
God Calls Abraham... God Calls you!
The Rain Of Fire That Fell On A City
The Story of Abraham
The Story of Abraham and Sarah
The Birth of a Nation - Abraham to Joseph (listen and read online)
Abraham - MIDI/Sheet music/Lyrics
Bob and Larry sing Father Abraham (Audio CD)
Cedarmont Kids sing Father Abraham (Audio CD)
When We Pray For Each Other
Abraham (Bible Collection)
Bible Comes Alive 1 (12 Audio CDs) (Your Story Hour)
Great People of the Bible: Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob & Joseph
The Story of Abraham and Isaac
Towering Pride and True Lies
What's in the Bible: In the Beginning
Young Abraham from the ancient stories of the Israelites
RESOURCES FOR PARENTS AND TEACHERS
Abraham (WebBible Encyclopedia)
Is there any evidence for the Biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah's destruction by fire and brimstone (sulfur)?
Jesus Taught About Prayer
Plain English - Puppets or Drama
Sodom and Gomorrah (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
The Birth of a Nation (Abraham to Joseph) pg. 2
BIBLE STORY ARCHIVE
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Last updated January 11, 2016
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