Before he had finished speaking, behold, Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, came out with her water jar on her shoulder. The young woman was very attractive in appearance, a maiden whom no man had known. She went down to the spring and filled her jar and came up. Then the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please give me a little water to drink from your jar.” She said, “Drink, my lord.” And she quickly let down her jar upon her hand and gave him a drink. When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking.” So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough and ran again to the well to draw water, and she drew for all his camels. The man gazed at her in silence to learn whether the Lord had prospered his journey or not.
When the camels had finished drinking, the man took a gold ring weighing a half shekel, and two bracelets for her arms weighing ten gold shekels, and said, “Please tell me whose daughter you are. Is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?” She said to him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor.” She added, “We have plenty of both straw and fodder, and room to spend the night.” The man bowed his head and worshiped the Lord and said, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken his steadfast love and his faithfulness toward my master. As for me, the Lord has led me in the way to the house of my master’s kinsmen.” Then the young woman ran and told her mother’s household about these things. Genesis 24:15-28 ESV
Be gracious to me, O Lord,
for to you do I cry all the day.
Gladden the soul of your servant,
for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.
Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer;
listen to my plea for grace.
In the day of my trouble I call upon you,
for you answer me. Psalm 86:3-7 ESV
It may be hard to imagine now, but there was a time not very many years ago when there were no cell phones. If you wanted to call somebody, you had to call the phone they had in their house. If you go back in time a few more years, there were no answering machines either. If you called someone who wasn’t home, the phone would ring and ring, but no one would answer. You’d have to try to call again later.
God hears us when we call in a way that is more like today’s cell phones. He always hears our prayers, and he always answers them. Abraham’s servant prayed to God, and before he even finished speaking God had sent the right young woman for Isaac to marry! This was an amazing answer to prayer.
Sometimes, though, it seems as if when we pray it’s more like the old days. It’s as if we call God, and he’s not there, and there’s no answer to our call. Or perhaps it seems as if we leave a message and he doesn’t get back to us. This happens because we can’t see God’s full purposes for our lives, or what is best for us. That’s when God helps us trust that even so, he keeps his promise to hear and answer our prayers.
God saw our greatest need for help long before we could even call on him in prayer. He saw that our sinful disobedience had separated us from him. He sent Jesus to answer a prayer we couldn’t even pray. Jesus died on the cross to win our forgiveness and make us God’s children. Because of Jesus, we know that God is our heavenly father who listens to us whenever we call to him.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for hearing our prayers. Help us always remember that we can call to you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.