Jesus said, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:24
The prayer seemed reckless, irresponsible, even presumptuous. And yet it reflected the servant’s absolute dependence on God: “O Lord, God of my master Abraham … 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” (Genesis 24:12–14).
In obedience to Abraham, the unnamed servant had traveled 500 miles to find a wife for Isaac. As evening approached, he stood near the well at Haran. Both he and the ten camels loaded with supplies needed water.
The town well was a logical place to find out where Abraham’s relatives lived. Members of every household in the area came to the well to get water. Knowing that many would arrive, the servant asked God for a specific sign: when he asked a girl for a drink, she’d offer to provide water for the camels also.
Giving a stranger a drink was common courtesy, but satisfying the thirst of ten camels would be like serving water to a thousand strangers. A camel can drink 25–40 gallons of water. In other words, the servant’s prayer request was audacious—“ marked by spirited fearless daring.”[i]
But God answered the servant’s request and gave Rebekah the perseverance to draw water for the camels “until they [had] finished drinking” (Genesis 24:19). She then invited him to spend the night at her family’s home (v. 24). After her family learned what had occurred, both her father, Bethuel, and older brother Laban agreed that “this is from the Lord” (v. 50).
The servant’s prayer illustrates the kind of mountain-moving faith Jesus talked about in Mark 11:23–24: “If anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.” That’s a daring prayer!
But where would most of our prayers fall on the cautious-audacious scale? Mine would register far too near the cautious side. And that’s convicting. You and I worship the same Almighty God that Abraham and his servant worshiped, but do our prayers reflect our confidence in our heavenly Father’s unlimited power?
God doesn’t always answer our prayers as quickly or as miraculously as he answered the servant’s. But prayers that come from humble, dependent hearts please and honor him. He may not answer our prayers the way we think he should; however, he has promised to bless those who put their trust in him. Psalm 37:5 assures us, “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.”
Do you trust him enough to pray an audacious prayer?
Read Genesis 24. In addition to his prayer, how else did the servant demonstrate faith? How did Abraham and Isaac, as well as Rebekah and her family, demonstrate faith?
[i] “Audacious,” Merriam-Webster, http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/unabridged/audacious.