Genesis 24:10-14 (ESV)
Then the servant took ten of his master's camels and departed, taking all sorts of choice gifts from his master; and he arose and went to Mesopotamia to the city of Nahor. And he made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at the time of evening, the time when women go out to draw water. And he said, “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.”
The servant makes a surprising prayer request; he asks that a young woman use a specific quote offering to water his ten camels. The specificity of the quote is surprising enough but the bit about watering the camels is extreme. Camels can drink an astonishing amount of water.
Ten camels can drink over two tons of water. The young girl might be offering to draw up a two-gallon bucket more than 250 times. Is the servant looking for a really stocky wife for Isaac?
No, this is another example of faith in action. The servant is counting on God to point the way; he isn’t relying on his own judgment at all.
Abraham has taught him well.
The servant’s prayer is a great example of how to discern and follow God’s will. Modern Christians would do well to study, even emulate, this servant’s prayer.
The problem is that we know what we want, so we ask God to make it happen. We aren’t neutral. Thus we often fail to ask God to show us if what we want is what He wants.
Abraham’s servant doesn’t want to come home empty-handed. If I was in that situation, I’d pray in a way that didn’t leave much chance for that.
Yet Abraham’s servant does just the opposite. He sets up a scenario where, without God’s help, he’s toast. He asks for an undeniably clear sign.
He’s letting go of his control of the situation and seeking the LORD’s will. He’s handing the keys to God and letting Him drive.
This is a wonderful example of “God driven” prayer.
The weekly study guides, which include discussion questions, are available for download here: