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Common Sense Praying

According to this wonderful thing called the Interweb, did you know that www.match.com can boast the following statistics?

· 56 million first emails sent per year
· 132 million winks sent per year
· 12 couples got married or engaged today because of this!
· Users go on 6 million dates each year.
· 1 in 1,369 dates leads to marriage on match.com
· Match.com makes 1 Million Dollars a day from subscription revenues.

Pretty amazing stuff that provides some insights into our culture. Sites such as Match.com and E Harmony are huge businesses, and they work because of common sense - connecting common traits. But such services did not begin with Gary Kerman, but by an unknown, senior servant of Abraham’s. We read about him in Genesis 24:1-68.

Abraham was getting old (vs. 1) and wanted to make sure that his son, Isaac, had a good woman to take as his wife. So he sent his servant on the case. The criteria weren’t quite as intense as many of today’s dating websites. There were just two things he was looking for:

1) She must not currently live in Canaan (vs. 3) and 2) Thus, she must be willing to move (vs. 6).
Unfortunately, Abraham’s servant didn’t have an elaborate database to match up, but he did have an angel to guide him (vs.7)!

He set off to Abraham’s homeland and decided that the first place he would look for a wife for Isaac was by the well. He arrives and then starts praying (vs. 12) that God will lead him to the woman who will become Abraham’s daughter-in-law.

I love this prayer because he is praying it in the place where God is most likely to answer it! In looking for a woman to marry Isaac, he goes to the place where the women are. There is a link between the answer to his prayer and his action. He doesn’t go to pray to find a wife at the local bar (because that’s not where the women fit for a king were). He doesn’t go to the fields (because women didn’t work in the areas), and he didn’t go to the Temple (because women weren’t allowed there either). He went to the well, where daily, women would go to. He put himself in a place where his prayers could be answered.

So often, many people pray, and their prayer request is separated from the response they are looking for.

· Parents pray for their children but don’t engage in their lives
· People pray to know God but don’t open their bible
· People say that they want to see God change the world but do so from the couch in front of the TV.

One of the things we need to do if we want God to answer our prayers is to use our common sense and position ourselves in places where God can answer them! Unfortunately, often in our prayers, common sense isn’t so common.

Back to the story, God heard the servant’s prayers and revealed that Rebecca (vs. 16) was the chosen one for Isaac. After some careful negotiation (vs. 28-58), the servant was able to bring Rebecca back to Canaan, where she and Isaac met, fell in love (vs. 64), and lived happily ever after. You could say that it was a match made in heaven (well, kind of…).

It is a beautiful thing when common sense is applied to our prayers. It is an irresponsible thing when it isn’t! As you pray, put yourself in a position where God can answer your prayers through you!

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