To what genre of scripture do you turn to learn about prayer? The Psalms include many prayers, and from them we learn much about prayer, about God, and about the faith of the writers/singers who penned those prayer-psalms. Prophets like Jeremiah, Isaiah, and Micah included passionate prayers filled with both faith and despair in their books. Paul told recipients of his letters why and what he prayed about and for them. The Sermon on the Mount and the sermon we call “Hebrews” include both prayers and teaching about prayer. The history of Acts records prayers and James, the brother of the Lord, writes in his letter about when prayer is both needed and effective. The prayers of Revelation praise and petition God and his Son.

But, what about genealogies? Many readers skim through the lists of generations, or skip them altogether. Sometimes, what seems an aberration commands the reader’s attention. Five somewhat scandalous women intrude into Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus? What similarities connect them? What distinguishes each? Why is each one included in a genealogy that concludes with the Messiah? Luke’s genealogy stresses that Jesus is the Son of David, the Son of Abraham, and the Son of Adam, but he is above all the Son of God. How or when, if ever does prayer, play a part in the writing or reading of genealogies?

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