Does our faith inspire others to pray? That unusual question popped into my mind when I read recently about Abraham’s sending his servant Eliezer of Damascus to find a wife for Abraham’s son Isaac as part of my daily Bible reading. Eliezer prays, and the wording of the way he addressed God captured my attention:
“He prayed, ‘O LORD, God of my master Abraham. Here I am, standing by the spring, and the daughters of the people who live in the town are coming out to draw water. I will say to a young woman, ‘please lower your jar so I may drink. May the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac reply, ‘Drink, and I’ll give your camels water too.’ In this way I will know that you have been faithful to my master” (Genesis 24:12-14 NET Bible).
He does not pray, “O Lord, my God.” No, he names (the all caps LORD represents the name of God found in the Hebrew text) his master Abraham’s God and prays to him. He describes where he is and what he hopes will happen. He prays for a revelation that God is faithful, again not to himself alone, but to Abraham. The faith and obedience of Abraham inspired Eliezer to pray.
Does our faith inspire others to pray? After they listen to our confidence in God and observe our attempts to obey him, do our friends, family members, or employees pray in moments of need or hurting to God because our relationship with God has caught their notice? These questions cause me to pause for self-inventory of my trust in God and for frank appraisal of how well (or badly) I live what I say I believe when I am with others.
Peter’s instructions in 1 Peter 4:7-11 encourage this kind of focus on our faith and our service to God. He hopes that the speech and actions of Christians will result in God’s being glorified in everything.
“O God of Abraham, may we who believe that we have been adopted into Abraham’s family of faith act and speak in our respective settings so well as your people that those who encounter us will praise your name and pray to you. May our trust in you engender faith in their hearts. Open our eyes to see ourselves as you (and our neighbors) see us. May we have the humility to reform when we fall short of your goals for our lives. May we provoke praise and thankfulness for you among those we meet. In Jesus’ name, amen.