O Lord, I want to know you better today than I did yesterday. I am hungry and thirsty for you. I want a rich relationship with you.

Teach me how to pray and communicate with you and to hear from you.

Help me hear you deep in my heart and give me the grace to respond to the great love that you have towards me.

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Abraham responded, “Since I’ve already decided to speak with my Lord, even though I’m just soil and ash, what if there are five fewer innocent people than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city over just five?”

The Lord said, “If I find forty-five there, I won’t destroy it.”

Once again Abraham spoke, “What if forty are there?”

The Lord said, “For the sake of forty, I will do nothing.”

He said, “Don’t be angry with me, my Lord, but let me speak. What if thirty are there?”

The Lord said, “I won’t do it if I find thirty there.”

Abraham said, “Since I’ve already decided to speak with my Lord, what if twenty are there?”

The Lord said, “I won’t do it, for the sake of twenty.”

Abraham said, “Don’t be angry with me, my Lord, but let me speak just once more. What if there are ten?”

And the Lord said, “I will not destroy it because of those ten.”

Genesis 18:27-32

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Wow! Abraham negotiated with God, and God agreed. However, what is more remarkable is that Abraham was compassionate about the people in Sodom. Abraham really had no business praying for those people. They were not his people. But he chose to pray and engage in conversation with God about them. And God listened! God ended up being compassionate towards Sodom even though there were lots of guilty people there. Abraham influenced God’s decision. This is the same way your friends can influence your decisions, for good or for bad. What kind of influence do you have on your friends?

Don’t be concerned about the words “innocent” and “guilty” in this story. Know that God has great love towards the innocent. In this case, innocence and guilt are about those who knew God and those who did not want to know God. You are considered among the innocent because you know God and you are searching for God. You want this relationship with God. Therefore, you can relate — even negotiate — with God as a friend of God.

Iyabo Onipede

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God, I am grateful to know your compassion. Thank you for counting me among the innocent. Thank you for counting me among your friends. Place a desire in my heart to pray for the world to experience your great compassion. Amen.

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God loves you deeply and passionately. God wants a wonderful and exciting relationship with you. God wants to communicate with you and listen to you. God wants you to hear what God is saying to you today.

Go into today, knowing that you are profoundly loved and that you have a close and intimate relationship with the Creator of the Universe because you prayed.

Iyabo Onipede

Iyabo Onipede practiced law for 20 years before she became a faith based Leadership Development Coach. She attended seminary at Candler School of Theology at Emory University. She is originally from Lagos, Nigeria but now considers Atlanta, Georgia home.

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Ken Medema

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