January 9

Genesis 20:1-22:24; Matthew 7:15-29; Psalm 9:1-12; Proverbs 2:16-22

Just when you thought Abraham’s saga was settling down, it heats up. This time, Abraham is in a foreign land and just like in Egypt, he crafts the story about Sarah being his sister. When the dust settles, Abraham prays for King Abimelech and his wife’s barrenness is removed.

Abraham had waited a long time for God’s promise to manifest. To make matters worse, Abraham has to pray for someone to have children. Do you ever wonder if God has a bad sense of humor? The very thing that Abraham longed for was going to happen for someone else. And, it is because of Abraham’s prayers.

As we are standing in faith for God to work in our lives, we tend to ignore the prayer requests of others. When our prayer list gets long, we neglect the needs of others. There is a powerful lesson to gain today: put someone else at the top of your prayer list. Can you rejoice with someone who received his answer before you received yours? Can you smile while someone else is enjoying the same thing that you have been praying, fasting, and believing for?

If the answer is, “No” then maybe you are not ready for your prayer to be answered. I love the way Chapter 21 opens, “The Lord kept his word….” After Abraham had obeyed God and prayed for Abimelech’s wife to have children, God answered his prayer for a son. These are selfless prayers when we can put the needs of others before our own. Isn’t that what the New Testament teaches us? “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” (Philippians 2:3-4) This is a key to answered prayer.

Tomorrow’s Reading: Genesis 23:1-24:51; Matthew 8:1-17; Psalm 9:13-20; Proverbs 3:1-6

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