He recovered all the goods and brought back his relative Lot and his possessions, together with the women and the other people.Genesis 14:16
The Holy Spirit would drive one thing home to our hearts through Abram's experiences in this passage. We do not lead our Christian lives in isolated seclusion—we are members of one another, and in circumstances of this nature, one Christian can often be the means of deliverance of a weaker brother or sister. There was nothing Abram could do to deliver Lot from Sodom. Sodom represented an inward choice in Lot's heart to live in the materialistic, sensualized atmosphere of Sodom. If a child of God chooses to be materialistic, sensual, commercial, and greedy for things of the world, not much can be done for him or her. Only Lot could take himself out of Sodom. But from this circumstance that threatened Lot's very life and liberty, Abram's resources were amply sufficient through prayer.
James 5:16b tells us,
The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. There is a Chinese translation of that verse that is excellent:
The earnest, hot-hearted prayer of a righteous man releases great power. That is certainly the case in this incident.
The prayer offered in faith, we are told in the same chapter of James,
will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up (James 5:15). Many have been puzzled by this verse, but if we read the context, we see clearly that the affliction here is one that has arisen because a child of God has become involved in deliberate sin. Such a one is to call the elders of the church together and confess his or her faults, and then the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him or her up again. It is a wonderful experience, this power of prayer for someone else.
The history of the church is replete with instances of such deliverances through faithful prayer. A wise and experienced missionary leader, speaking to a group on the subject of prayer, addressed the matter of overwhelming sin that so grips the heart as to enslave the life and frustrate all activity for God. He gave some very wise words of advice.
Perhaps some younger Christian, he said,
may find himself in such a circumstance, and the thing he is doing is so shameful that he cannot bring himself to confess it publicly; then let him seek out some older man of God, someone he can trust, and lay the whole matter before him and ask him to pray concerning this. It is wise counsel, indeed. When Lot could not possibly help himself, Abram, separated in heart from the Sodom-like attitudes that rendered Lot so powerless, was able to lay hold of God and affect a great and mighty deliverance.
Lord, help me to stand ready to help a friend in time of need, even if it means simply being there to listen and to pray.
Are we able to aid our brothers or sisters in Christ with helpful counsel from the Word of God? Have we engaged in faithful prayer for those in sinful circumstances?