An Audacious Prayer
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. 1 John 5:14-15
It seemed audacious, maybe even presumptuous. And yet Abraham’s servant uttered it in faith and humility—a prayer of absolute dependence on God.
The unnamed servant had traveled 500 miles to find a wife for Isaac. As evening approached, he stood near the well at Haran. Both he and the ten camels loaded with supplies needed water. The town well was a logical place to discover where Abraham’s relatives lived. Members of every household in the area would come to the well to get water.
Knowing that many would arrive, the servant asked God for a specific sign: “May it be that when I say to a girl, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,” and she says, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels’—let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac.”
Giving a stranger a drink was common courtesy; however, satisfying the thirst of ten camels would be like serving water to a thousand strangers.* (A camel can drink 25-40 gallons of water at one time.) In other words, the servant’s prayer request seemed preposterous!
But God answered the servant’s request, and He gave Rebekah the strength and endurance to complete the task. After the servant and Rebekah told her family what had occurred, both her father and brother agreed that “this is from the LORD” (v. 50).
I admit that I’m more likely to pray cautious prayers than audacious ones. Maybe that’s my problem. My faith is too timid. I worship the same Almighty God that Abraham and his servant worshiped. Does my prayer life reflect confidence in His unlimited power? Do I boldly ask God for precise answers to specific needs?
God doesn’t always answer our prayers as quickly or as miraculously as He answered the servant’s. But prayers that come from humble, dependent hearts always please Him. He may not answer our prayers the way we think He should, either. But He has promised to bless those who put their trust in Him: “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will act” (Psalm 37:5).
Do we trust Him enough to pray an audacious prayer?
Read Genesis 24. What else occurs in the chapter that demonstrates that both the servant and Rebekah had placed their trust in God? How can you demonstrate your faith in God’s power today?
Read Genesis 29. Many years later Abraham’s grandson Jacob arrived at Haran’s well. How were his actions different from the servant’s? How were the outcomes similar? How were they different?
Read Matthew 7:7-11. What prayer principles does Jesus give here? Can God’s definition of “good gifts” be different than ours? How so? (See James 4:3 and 1 John 5:14-15)
Denise K. Loock
* Based on one person drinking a quart of water and one camel drinking 25 gallons of water.