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Sunday, January 02, 2011

prayers in the Bible: Abraham's servant

I am hoping that this will be the first of a series of posts on some of the prayers in the Bible. I am quoting from the World English Bible in these posts, because it is in the public domain.

Genesis 24:10 The servant took ten camels, of his master’s camels, and departed, having a variety of good things of his master’s with him. He arose, and went to Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahor. 11 He made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at the time of evening, the time that women go out to draw water. 12 He said, “Yahweh, the God of my master Abraham, please give me success this day, and show kindness to my master Abraham. 13 Behold, I am standing by the spring of water. The daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. 14 Let it happen, that the young lady to whom I will say, ‘Please let down your pitcher, that I may drink,’ and she will say, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink,’—let her be the one you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.”

This servant, who is not named, but may have been Eliezer (See Genesis 15:2) probably had heard Abraham praying. Perhaps he had participated in household prayers with Abraham and other servants. God answered his prayer immediately, as Rebekah came to the well, and acted as the servant had prayed. The fulfillment is a miracle. Why should a young woman strain herself to water the camels (That must have been a lot of water!) of a man she did not know? And, of course, there was the greater miracle -- she agreed, readily, to leave her family, her friends, her familiar surroundings, and probably her religion, to travel across the desert to marry a man she had never seen. God answered that prayer mightily.

Was Isaac praying for a wife, back at home? Was Abraham praying for a successful mission for his servant? Had Rebekah been praying for a husband? We don't know.

Years ago, I sometimes prayed that the God, who found a wife for Isaac, would provide me with one. He has, and I am grateful.

Thanks for reading.

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