‘Then he prayed, “Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham.”’ Genesis 24.12
Abraham gave his servant a very particular mission – to go and find a wife for his son. The context for this verse is that God had already promised Abraham that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky, but it would be fair to say that the plan was not unfolding at a galloping pace so far! So Abraham decided to look to his son to carry on the family line, and for this reason he sent his servant to find a wife for Isaac amongst Abraham’s own people.
There is something about the servant’s prayer that carries with it a sense of why shouldn’t God do this? After all, God had made a promise to Abraham so why wouldn’t he answer this servant’s prayer? Sometimes, if we are honest, we have a tendency deep within us to feel that getting something out of God is like getting blood out of a stone. We get anxious in case we are not good enough and one little slip means that our prayers are ignored, or that somehow we have reached our quota of answered prayers. When we think like this prayer becomes hard work.
One way to change our attitude is to begin our prayers by setting our sights on the beautiful character of God and his promises to us. When we take time to focus on these things a different attitude will rise up within us – why wouldn’t God do this for us? Why not indeed!
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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