August 19, 2006

A Servant's Prayer

Genesis 24:1-16

"O LORD ... give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham." Genesis 24:12


Our reading for today opens with Abraham calling his most trusted servant to a special task. The servant makes a vow and sets out on a journey to find a wife for Isaac from among Abraham's relatives.

We don't know much about this servant, but we can tell he has seen God at work in the lives of Abraham, Sarah, and now Isaac. Abraham is old, and he wants Isaac to marry. Abraham is trying to arrange for a bride for Isaac, but God is the one who will really provide so that his promises are fulfilled.

Before the servant starts any conversations with the young women of the area, he prays to the God of his master and asks God to show kindness to his master. Success for the servant will come by God's taking the next step in this mission.

Why is the name of the servant not shared in this story? Maybe it helps us focus on God as the primary actor in this drama. A servant who prays for success turns not to his own abilities but to the kindness of God.

Not knowing the name of the servant helps us put ourselves in his sandals. How do we define "success"? In this case, success is the completion of the mission by the servant for the master. The master's success is the ultimate goal of the servant.

Have you prayed the servant's prayer lately?

Master, Creator, make me a servant of your peace. Help me continue to pray and seek for your will to be done on earth, in me, as it is in heaven. In your name, O Lord, Amen.

About the author — Julius T. Medenblik

Rev. Jul Medenblik is a former attorney who was called to pastoral ministry and became the founding pastor of a church in New Lenox, Illinois. He is currently serving as president of Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Jul and his wife, Jackie, are blessed with a son, Joshua, and a daughter, Julianne.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!