And he said, “O Lord, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today and show steadfast love to my master Abraham.”
I was touched by the words of John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, when he appeared on Chris Evans’ Breakfast Show on Radio 2 recently. Asked how he started his day, the Archbishop said that the first thing he did each morning was to say, “Good morning Lord!” before praying for the day ahead. My day, in contrast, usually starts in a blur of semi-consciousness; my wife, Claire, gets up to go for a run, has a shower, then eats breakfast, whilst I struggle to remember what my own name is. Eventually I manage to make it into the shower, before sorting out some food for myself and reflecting on what I need to do that day.
There are many people, like the Archbishop of York, who are great at praying first thing every day. Others of us accept that it is a good idea, but really struggle to do it. Perhaps we can all learn from the servant of Abraham, whose prayer is our Daily Reading today. He may well have prayed at the beginning of the day, but in this passage, we witness him praying in the evening, just before a very important task; trying to find Isaac, his master’s son, a wife. In his prayer he recognises the sovereignty of God over all things, and knows that, if God wishes it, he will be successful in the task that his master has set him. Whilst he knows that it is he who has to take the initiative and work hard in his task, he also understands that God has the power to intervene and ensure the success of his mission.
How often do we pray before an important task? Do we acknowledge, through prayer, that God is the master of our lives, or do we trust not in him, but in our own strengths and abilities? Today, why not try and get into the habit of asking for God’s support and love before facing a new task? And why not join me in trying even harder to begin the day in prayer? What better way could there be to start the day than acknowledging the sovereignty of our Father in Heaven, and asking for his blessing?