by Clarence E. Macartney

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The Prayer of Abraham (1 of 13)
Series: The Prayers of the Old Testament
Clarence E. Macartney
Genesis 18:23-25

Abraham is the loftiest character of the Bible, but for that very reason he is the loneliest, even as the loftiest mountains are the most isolated and solitary. In his great oration delivered at the unveiling of the Lincoln Memorial at Hodgenville, Kentucky, President Wilson said of Abraham Lincoln: ''I have read many biographies of Lincoln; I have sought out with the greatest interest the many intimate stories that are told of him, the narratives of nearby friends, the sketches at close quarters, in which those who had the privilege of being associated with him have tried to depict for us the very man himself 'in his habit as he lived'; but I have nowhere found a real intimate of Lincoln's. That brooding spirit had no real familiars. I get the impression that it never spoke out in complete self-revelation, and that it could not reveal itself completely to anyone. It was a very lonely spirit that looked out from underneath those shaggy brows and comprehended men without fully communing with them, as if, in spite of all its genial efforts at comradeship, it dwelt apart, saw its visions of duty where no man looked on.''

We hear the voice that calls to Abraham out of Ur of Chaldees and we follow him as he goes out not knowing whither he went. We wait with him through the long years for the fulfillment of the promise. We climb with him the steep slopes of Moriah and look with awe on his readiness to sacrifice the child of the promise. We bow with him at his altars of prayer. We follow him to battle against Chedorlaomer, and we hear his earnest intercession for the cities of the Plain; and we stand with Isaac and Ishmael as they bury their father in the cave of Machpelah. But at the end of the journey from Ur of Chaldees to far distant Machpelah, how little do we understand him! Isaac we understand, Jacob we know, Joseph we have shed our tears over; ...

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