Wednesday, November 15, 2017

First Recorded Prayer

And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!
Genesis 17:18, KJV

Genesis 17 records a conversation between God and Abraham. 

1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.
And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,
As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.
Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.
And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.
And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.
And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.
Genesis 17:1-9, KJV
First Recorded Prayer
One has to appreciate the fact that the Old Testament saints were just people like you and me. God literally pours out His heart and plans to Abraham promising to make a covenant between Abraham and his seed. He will no longer be called Abram, but because God will make him the father of many nations, he will be called Abraham.
How does Abraham respond to this amazing declaration by God to him?
Abraham says, in essence, "God, are you not forgetting something? Sarai and I have no children and I am now 90 years old." So he states in verse 18, "O that Ishmael might live before thee."
Like Abraham, we are prone to read the promises of God given to us in His Holy Word and then dismiss them as not possibly being able to apply to us. So, Abraham presented Ishmael to God and asked, "Can you not bring me all of these amazing events through the son I already have?"
Sarah is too old to bear children, so there is no way that Abraham can perceive of God making him a father of many nations through a son he does not have. 
Do we do this same thing in our prayers to God? Here we have recorded the first actual prayer in the Word of God and it is a prayer of doubt and compromise. Abraham's very words display his lack of confidence in God, so he conveniently provides a compromise through his son, Ishmael.
Having the Bible, we already know how God answered this prayer. Abraham was denied this request by God. God had a better plan and certainly had no problem bringing His plan to pass.
What kind of God do we serve? Do we serve a God whom we cannot trust? Are we constantly in doubt that our God can provide for us? Do we find ourselves making compromises to God that we believe are more fitting for our lifestyle or our circumstances?
Let us remember that there is only one God. The God of the Bible--the God of Abraham--is the same God we worship today. Every promise He has made in His Word has already come to pass or will come to pass in future days just as He has proclaimed.
If you are not a believer, there is one prayer you need to make. Recognizing that, before a holy, righteous, and pure God, you are filled with darkness and sin, you need to cry out to Him for salvation. No man who has ever lived, apart from the Lord Jesus Christ, has had the ability to stand before God. The Lord Jesus Christ, the perfect man and perfect God, came here for one purpose, and that was to die for His people. On the cross, He bore our sins. He bled and died so that we might have His righteousness poured upon us.
Does that mean we become sinless when we become a believer? No! We will be tainted with sin as long as we live on this earth. But, in Christ we find perfect forgiveness. When we come to Him for salvation, our lives are changed forever. No longer do we desire to be consumed by the things of this world, but rather, we look to God and His Holy Word to teach us how to live in a manner pleasing to God. The Holy Spirit has been given to us to teach and guide us while we are still in this world.
If you are a believer, what God do you serve? Do you serve the God of the Bible, or do you find yourself trying to accommodate God's Word (and God, Himself) to fit your lifestyle? 
Let us pray that we will serve the one and only true God--the God of Abraham. If we find that our prayers remain unanswered, maybe God has a better plan in store for us.
The things of this earth will only satisfy us for a very short time, but in Christ we find love, joy, and peace that will last for all eternity!
What an amazing God we serve!

God Bless You,

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