Then he prayed, “Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham” (Genesis 24:12 NIV).
Friend to Friend
My daughter excitedly told me she had a God-moment at church (that’s always a good thing!). She was helping the 6-year-olds who were working on drawing something they wanted. One kid drew a puppy; another drew a dragon. But one little girl didn’t draw anything at all. When my daughter asked about it, the little girl said she wanted her grandma but that her grandma had died.
Instead of only saying “Oh, I’m sorry” and moving on, my daughter asked if she could pray for her right then and there. She explained that God could do anything, including comforting her while she was sad. They prayed together and after the prayer, the little girl started drawing. The end result of her artistic efforts? A drawing of her beloved grandma with wings in heaven.
I was so touched by this story because it shows the power of prayer and kindness to transform a heart and redeem a moment. It also shows you don’t have to be a pastor or have a degree in theology to pray for others. You don’t have to be a certain age to be used by God. You just have to notice others and be willing to slow down.
It would have been easy for my daughter to just walk to the next child, but she stopped and observed this little girl’s sadness. She took time to talk with her and pray. It makes me wonder when was the last time I stopped to pray with a friend or acquaintance.
Today’s key verse comes from Genesis 24, which happens to be the longest chapter in Genesis. Interestingly, it’s about a marriage match between Isaac and Rebekah. Abraham sends his head servant on the most important mission of finding a suitable wife for his son Isaac. After traveling to the land of Abraham’s ancestors, the servant prays this prayer, “Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. May it be that when I say to a young woman, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too’ – let her be the one you have chosen.” Before he had finished praying, the answer was heaven sent!
Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder, offering water not only to Abraham’s servant, but also offering to draw water for all of his camels. He had ten camels (v.10) so this task would have taken a long time. The Bible says Rebekah was very beautiful on the outside (vs.16) and her actions show her beautiful character on the inside. God had answered the servant’s prayer for a bride for Isaac. She was the one!
This servant’s prayer request is the first individual prayer of petition in the Bible. How amazing that this prayer wasn’t offered by a famous Israelite. It’s offered by an unnamed servant, beautifully illustrating that anyone can talk to God. It also shows the power of praying for the welfare of someone else. It seems to be particularly pleasing to God when we pray for others (and not only our own needs).
After meeting her family and offering gifts, Abraham’s servant invited Rebekah to journey with him to meet Isaac and she agreed. Upon finding Isaac, the servant told Isaac all the things he had done and then verse 67 says, “Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.”
God answered the prayer of Abraham’s servant, bringing much comfort to the heart of Isaac. Who has God put in your path today? Maybe you will notice someone in need of comfort, and like my daughter you can ask, “May I pray for you today?” As we take time to petition God on someone else’s behalf, we can be part of God’s beautiful story of redemption and love.
Who will you pray for today?
Dear God, thank You for being the God of love and comfort. Use me today to bring hope and light to someone else. Show me whom I need to pray for today. Provide the answers that we need. We look to You alone, our source of strength and help, both now and forever.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Has anyone ever stopped to pray for you? What effect did that have on your life?
Think of someone who needs a touch from God today. Pray for this person and let him or her know you are praying for them. You can pray out loud for him or her in person or over the phone.
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