The Privilege Of Prayer


Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


“He shall pray for thee” (Gen. 20:7).

Abimelech, king of Gerar, had taken Abraham’s wife as his own, but had done so innocently. Sarah was a beautiful woman and Abraham, fearful for his life, had said: “She is my sister,” and Sarah had vouched for Abraham’s subterfuge, telling Abimelech: “He is my brother.”

But to save the errant couple from the consequences of their own sin God appeared to Abimelech, warning him that if he valued his life he would immediately return Sarah to her husband — “and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live.”

What is this? Will God hear the prayers of guilty Abraham for innocent Abimelech? Yes, for Abimelech was a pagan who served other gods, while Abraham, with all his failure and sin, was God’s own child.

Abraham’s prayer would, of course, be a confession of his sin and a plea that it might not be laid to the charge of innocent Abimelech — innocent of this particular sin — but nevertheless it was Abraham, not Abimelech, who had access to God.

Many unsaved people point to the failures of God’s children and say: “I would not be guilty of that.” Nevertheless, such “good” people are lost, while poor sinners who have trusted Christ for salvation are “accepted in the Beloved.”

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16).