Week of Nov. 5
A Prayer for Guidance
How do you begin important tasks? Do you make a list of steps and requirements? Do you seek the counsel of experts or do you stop and ask God for His wisdom and guidance?
Read Genesis 24. In this passage we see that Abraham entrusted his servant, Eliezer, with a most special commission: the choosing of a wife for his beloved son, Isaac. Eliezer knew that a job of this importance required prayer and God's providence.
Abraham not only wanted the best wife for his son because he loved him, but he also knew the significance of his son's line: "Then God said, ‘Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him'" (Genesis 17:19).
So instead of choosing a wife among the pagan Canaanites, Abraham sent this servant to his homeland of Nahor. Abraham wanted Isaac's wife to be a woman of character, faithfulness, and commitment. Abraham told Eliezer, "‘I want you to swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living, but will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac'" (Genesis 24:3, 4).
When Eliezer arrived in Nahor, the first thing he did was to pray. He did not begin inquiring about the local families. He did not send out scouts. He did not even rest after his long journey. He first and foremost sought God's guidance in finding a godly wife for Isaac.
Eliezer knew firsthand the importance of prayer, having witnessed the faithfulness of God in Abraham's life. He learned from Abraham's example of devoted prayer. He saw God's faithfulness as He blessed Abraham and Sarah with their long-awaited son Isaac. So Eliezer knew God would answer his prayer for aid in such an important task.
Eliezer's prayer was one of a matchmaker's: "Then he prayed, ‘O Lord, God of my master Abraham, give me success 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 girl, "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 for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master'" (Genesis 24:12-14).
Why did Eliezer present the scenario that Isaac's chosen wife would offer to water the animals? Because generosity is a hallmark of a woman of character. Eliezer was seeking a hospitable, self-sacrificing woman who would give above what was expected of her.
His prayer was powerful, not because he asked in a certain way, but because his heart was aligned with God's will. He sought a God-ordained marriage for his master's son. His heart was obedient to what God wanted for Isaac and his descendants.
Eliezer trusted in God's providence, and God intervened. "Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder" (Genesis 24:15). God provided Isaac's wife, and Eliezer responded in a prayer of thanksgiving: "Then the man bowed down and worshiped the Lord, saying, ‘Praise be to the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned his kindness and faithfulness to my master. As for me, the Lord has led me on the journey to the house of my master's relatives'" (Genesis 24:26, 27).
We can learn from Eliezer's example. Like this humble servant, we must depend on God in all we do. We must actively seek to do God's will as we pray. We should believe in big things from a big God. We must never forget God's past blessings and interventions, yet always remain grateful for His faithfulness.
Are you facing a daunting task? Stop and ask the Lord what He wants you to do. Ask Him how you can bring Him glory through the situation.
"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him."
Don't be tempted to toss in the towel and give up running the race. Shore up your confidence in God, today. Michael Youssef explores this topic in our free resource this month—"Don't Lose Your Confidence." Download it today.
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