Chapter 18 of Genesis brings out the delights and difficulties of real friendship with God.

Its delights. Real friendship with God is different from occasionally sensing his presence in prayer. To have a real friendship with God is to be in such close contact with him that you never need to ask him to show you his will. It is to be nearing the final stage of the life of faith. When you are rightly related to God, life is full of liberty and delight: you are God’s will. Unless he tells you otherwise, your commonsense decisions are his will for you, decided in perfect friendship with him.

Its difficulties. In Genesis 18, Abraham begins to plead with God to spare Sodom, but he stops before receiving God’s final assurance (vv. 25–33). Why did Abraham stop praying when he did? He was not yet intimate enough with God to go boldly on until his desire was granted. There was something still lacking in their relationship. Whenever we stop short in prayer, there is another stage to go in friendship with God. We aren’t as intimate with God as Jesus was and as God wishes us to be.

What was the last thing you prayed about? Were you devoted to your desire or to God? Did you hope to get some gift of the Spirit, or to get at God himself? “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Matthew 6:8). The point of asking is to get to know God better. “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). Keep praying in order to get a perfect understanding of God himself.

Wisdom from Oswald

There is no allowance whatever in the New Testament for the man who says he is saved by grace but who does not produce the graceful goods. Jesus Christ by His Redemption can make our actual life in keeping with our religious profession.
Studies in the Sermon on the Mount