February 12, 2017

Genesis 24:15 Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder.

This line immediately brings to mind the Lord’s words to Isaiah: “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.” (Isaiah 65:24) That in turn brings to mind Jesus’ words: “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:8) We get all tied in knots over all sorts of things, when what is called for is obedient trust. Some people look at this and want to know why we should pray in the first place, since God knows everything. If we fail to pray, we fail to focus our hearts on God and we miss the joy of knowing he hears us and cares about us individually. Abraham’s servant was overjoyed to have his prayer answered even as he prayed. I’m sure he came out of this experience with far more faith than he had before it happened! One of our problems is that we tend to focus on the times we don’t receive what we ask for, instead of recognizing the many times God is gracious to us. Actually, often God’s “No” answers are at least as gracious as His “Yes” answers, but we seldom understand that until later, if at all. Prayer is fundamentally communication with our Father, and is more than worth pursuing whatever our immediate situation.

I am deeply grateful to have been raised in a home where prayer was as natural as breathing, but that still doesn’t mean I make full and proper use of it myself. I do pray a good bit, but I am still growing in intercession and in praying in full harmony with the Holy Spirit. I am quick to pray about my own felt needs, but they are generally trivial compared to the needs of so many of my brothers and sisters in Christ around the world. I delight to pray in words the Holy Spirit provides, but I need to be just as guided by Him when I pray in English or Japanese. When I pray in full submission and faith I can be assured that God will do what is best, whether I see that response immediately, as in this story, or not until years later, or even until after I am gone from this earth. I am not to insist on my timetable. I have seen God answer prayers, and specifically my prayers, more times than I could count. I am to ask, seek, and knock, (Matthew 7:7-8) and at the same time rest, relax, and rejoice in my Father’s love and provision.

Father, thank You for this reminder. You know my current situation better than I do, with a full day today but feeling like I’m coming down with a cold again, and then a momentous day tomorrow and another full day the next day. I ask for health and strength as I need it, to do Your will on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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