Weekly Devotional


Have you been praying for something without success?  If you are like me, you have had those times when you have diligently sought the Lord about a particular matter and it seemed like He had no idea you have been talking to Him. Often times in my mind, I asked tongue in cheek, “Hello, is anybody up there?” only to be met with deafening silence. But for the grace of God, those times can be incredibly frustrating.

I thought about prayers that bounce off the wall, figuratively of course, as I wondered what Abraham must have felt while waiting for his promised son.  The Bible said he believed God (Galatians 3:6) yet after ten years of waiting, he tried to force God’s hand by yielding to Sarah’s suggestion that since she was well past childbearing age, that he tried with the younger Hagar to see if she would give him a son (Genesis 16:1-4). That plan backfired when God “rejected” the son of that union (Genesis 17:17-22) and poor Abe had to wait another fourteen years before Issac was born to him and Sarah as God had promised.  The fact that God kept on appearing to the couple in the narrative is significant because it tells us that His eyes had never left them.  It is some comfort to us to know that even as it seems all heaven is silent and God is nowhere to be found, He knows exactly where we are and what is going on with us all the time.

But what changed between God and Abraham?  Why after twenty-five years did God finally say “yes” to Abraham and Sarah’s efforts at parenthood? While Scripture sheds no light on the subject, further in the narrative we see something significant.  In Genesis 20, Abraham told Abimelech that Sarah was his sister and so Abimelech decided to take Sarah as his wife.  A fascinating story unfolded which resulted in God closing up all the wombs of the household of Abimelech (v. 18).  However, in verse 17 we read, “So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bare children” (KJV).  The narrative continues, “And the LORD visited Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as He had spoken.  For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him” (Genesis 21:1-2).  

So what does one have to with the other?  God opened Sarah’s womb when Abraham prayed for the opening of the wombs of the women of Abimelech’s household. Not that God needed Abraham’s help.  He had closed the wombs all by Himself and could just as easily have re-opened them by Himself.  However, since God does not waste words, I believe one lesson for us is that when we need something desperately and know of others with a similar need, if we pray for them first then we set in motion the spiritual mechanism necessary for our own answered prayers.  We see this principle at work in the story of Job as well.  While we remember that God gave Job double for his trouble, we often forget that “the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before” (Job 42:10). Note the time it happened – “when he prayed for his friends.”

When our hearts are open to the needs of others, we find God’s heart open towards us.  Looking out for ourselves and ours is a learned behavior; God intended for us to look out for each other.  Every now and then why not forget about yourself and your needs and pray earnestly and fervently for someone who has the same needs as you?  I believe now is as good a time as any to start.  God is watching and I believe He stands ready to release your blessing as He releases the blessings of those you have prayed for.

About the author

Colin Wilson

Easy going, dislike negativity, and an optimist. I believe that amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday living, each day is a gift from God and if we stop and think about it, there is at least one thing for which we ought to be thankful. In addition, I believe that every day is a great day to be alive. No matter how bad we think we have it, there are any number of people who are on the "other side" who, if they could, would gladly trade places with us. Email me at [email protected]