There once was a servant, sent on a mission by his master to find a wife for his son. It was an important task because it was the master’s last will that his son marry someone from his country among his relatives. It was a challenging mission because it’s been almost a century since Abraham was called to leave his country to live in Canaan.
God called Abram when he was 75 (Gen. 12). Abram became Abraham when God promised to make him a father of a multitude of nations (Gen. 17). Abraham died at 175 (Gen. 25). Getting his son a wife was the last important recorded event of his life (Gen. 24).
What would you do if you were the servant assigned to go back to a place you’ve never been at a time when many generations of people have lived and died… to find a wife for the son of your master from his own family? Is it not like finding a needle in a haystack? What did this unnamed servant do? He prayed.
“Lord, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. 13 Behold, I am standing by the spring, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water; 14 now may it be that the young woman to whom I say, ‘Please let down your jar so that I may drink,’ and who answers, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels also’—may she be the one whom You have appointed for Your servant Isaac; and by this I will know that You have shown kindness to my master.”
Lessons to learn from his short prayer:
1) The Who: in his mission.. Lord, the God of his master, Abraham. It is the same God who called his master out to live in this land (Canaan), who promised to give this land to his descendants (24:7). The servant knew the mission that his master was given by his God.
2) The What: of his mission.. The servant asked the Lord to grant him success – to do as his master told him to do: To get a wife for his master’s son from the family of his master in their country.
3) The How: of his mission – the means to the end.. It is by the Lord’s kindness that he would be successful in his mission.
The servant wisely asked for specific things to happen. He believed that God would lead him to the right person in the right place at the right time. He waited by the well at the time when women of the city would come out to draw water (24:11). He specifically asked for the woman who would offer him water to drink and also give water to his camels (v. 13).
v. 14 may she be the one whom You have appointed for Your servant Isaac; and by this I will know that You have shown kindness to my master.”
The beginning, the end, and all things in-between is God. God is the subject and object of his prayer – the mission, the means and the end.
Prayer is our means to draw near to God – to ask Him to help us do what He wants us to do. We call upon who He is. We pray for what He will do through us. We pray by His kindness – His grace and mercy to grant us success in the mission He gives us.
Lord, you are the God who calls me to reflect your image for your glory. Grant me success today, that by this, I will know you: that you have shown me kindness… in all that I will do by the grace and mercy that comes from you and you alone. By the blood and works of Jesus, I pray, Amen.