Our text is from the Book of Genesis, Chapter 24, verses 12 through 15, a prayer of faith, by a servant of God. Abraham had given a charge to his most senior steward Eliezar to find a wife for Isaac from among the family. The steward had arrived at their city, and not knowing how to proceed, he prayed the prayer we just read. The prayer was very specific, and so was GOD’s answer. The outcome was that the very next day, he took his return journey with Rebekah, who became Isaac’s wife. Let us look at the prayer of this remarkable and devout man, Eliezer, and learn from it. He began by invoking the Covenant GOD of Abraham, who had promised a son to him, and who had, in due time, gifted him with Isaac. The servant also prayed for good success and for the circumstances necessary to guide him in his choice. GOD says in Psalm 32, verse 8:
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will guide you with My eye.
While Eliezer was still praying, the answer was on its way. This has been the happy experience of many of GOD’s people, and is in line with Isaiah 65, verse 24:
It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer, and while they are still speaking, I will hear. It was also a complete answer which caused him to say,
Blessed be the LORD GOD of my master, Abraham, who has not forsaken His mercy and His truth toward my master. As for me, being on the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master’s brethren. Daniel, the prophet, had also been praying for an end to the captivity of his people in Babylon, whom GOD had promised to restore to Jerusalem after 70 years in exile. Daniel records in Chapter 9, verse 21:
Yes, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, reached me about the time of the evening offering.
From these and other examples, we learn that GOD hears and answers prayer. Not only the prayers of the minyan, but also the individual’s prayer. It is a false notion that He is too important to care. On the contrary, He is offended when we do not entrust every detail of our lives to Him. The question is: What constitutes the prayer of faith? We begin with Job, Chapter 22, from verse 21 to verse 30:
Acquaint now yourself with Him, and be at peace. Thereby, good will come to you. Receive, please, instruction from His mouth, and lay up His words in your heart. For then you will have your delight in the Almighty, and lift up your face to GOD. You will make your prayer to Him; He will hear you and you will pay your vows.
In other words, prior to the prayer of faith, there must be in place a conviction of GOD’s will, and a living demonstration of our commitment to Him. This shows itself in our submission to His Word, as we find it in the Bible. Following this commitment, while we are praying, we need to be patient until we receive the answer of GOD. We tend to clutch at anything and everything that looks like the answer, without waiting for confirmation. Proverbs 19, verse 2:
He sins who hastens with his feet.
Eliezer reacted differently as we read on in Genesis 24, verse 21:
And the man, wondering at her, remained silent so as to know whether the LORD had made his journey prosperous or not.
Rebekah had given drink to him and his camels, but he still needed to know whether she belonged to his master’s family. So he made further inquiries. The prophet, Habakkuk, did the same after urgently seeking GOD about the future of his people. Habakkuk, Chapter 2, verse 1:
I will stand my watch, and set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me, and what I will answer when I am reproved.
Finally, the prayer of faith includes thanksgiving, and the appropriate response. Eliezer bowed and worshipped, and thanked GOD publicly for providing a bride for his master, Abraham’s son. But his work was not over. The next morning he asked to be sent back with Rebekah, and when her family hesitated, he replied,
Do not hinder me, since the LORD has prospered my way. Send me away so that I may go to my master. (Verses 54 through 56.) Similarly, when Daniel, the prophet, was given the information he so needed from GOD, he first paused to thank GOD before sharing the needed revelation with others. Daniel, Chapter 2, verse 23:
I thank You and praise You, O GOD of my fathers. You have given me wisdom and might, and have now made known to me what we asked of You; for You have made known to us the king’s demand.
The prayer of faith is based squarely on the Word of GOD. Eliezer said,
As for me, being on the way, the LORD led me. That way is the road of faith and obedience. Dare to believe that GOD will infallibly lead us when we are willing to trust and obey. Isaiah, Chapter 50, verse 10:
Who among you fears the LORD? Who obeys the voice of His servant? Who walks in darkness, and has no light? Let him trust in the Name of the LORD, and rely upon his GOD.
What shall we pray for? Let us first pray for the forgiveness of our many sins and shortcomings. GOD will have nothing to do with a disobedient people. When Solomon dedicated the first Temple, he prayed the following in 1st Kings, Chapter 8, verse 30:
And may You hear the supplication of Your servant, and of Your people, Israel. When they pray towards this place, then hear in heaven, Your dwelling place, and when You hear, forgive. We need forgiveness every day, all the year round; not only on Yom Kippur. Then let us submit to GOD’s guidance in our lives, and trust Him to show us the way we should go. What we need most of all, is to know who Messiah is, what He has done for our souls, and how we may follow Him to heaven. YESHUA of Nazareth said,
I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father, except through Me. We shall look at this in greater detail another time.
Shalom. Let us pray: Avinu Shabashamyim, our Father in heaven, give us that true and living faith that Your servant, Eliezer, and the prophets displayed in their lives. We ask it in the Name of our Messiah. Amen.