There has to be a point where any of us begins to pray to a God that we know little about. I often think those are refreshing prayers. We find one of these in the 24th chapter of Genesis. Abraham sends his servant on a mission that would be impossible without the direction of God. After traveling for weeks he stops outside the town where Abraham's family lived, and prays.
“O LORD, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today and show steadfast love to my master Abraham. Behold, I am standing by the spring of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. Let the young woman to whom I shall say, ‘Please let down your jar that I may drink’, and who shall say, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels’—let her be the one whom you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I shall know that you have shown steadfast love to my master.”
I don't believe it is wrong for the servant's approach to God to be tentative. He begins by addressing the LORD as the God of Abraham. I believe it would have been wrong for Abraham to pray such a second-hand prayer. It would have been foolish for this servant to continue to pray like that after God had revealed Himself in these events. But at this point he seems to be reaching out to the LORD for the first time. I think his approach was humble and fearful. And even if it lacked faith, it was a step toward firm belief.
This is not merely a prayer for success or blessing even for his master, Abraham. This is a prayer to Know the will of God. He is praying for God to show him the young lady that He had appointed for Isaac. He recognizes that just any girl will not do.
And he is praying that he might know God himself. He prays that he might know God's steadfast love to Abraham and Isaac. And of course knowing that would be a good step toward knowing God. I don’t think this was much different that someone today praying as Fancis Schaffer suggested in one of his books.
“God, if you are real, speak to me.”
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David, thank you for your blog. This specific prayer of an unnamed man has meant a lot to me over the years. Also right now in our family we need to know specifics of what God wants us to do in several decisions we have to make that will influence our lives greatly both now and in future. This reminder is very encouraging and comforting to me.
May we (all of God's people) know God Himself more and more! Thank you.
God bless you and yours!