podcast

#1,265 – Single-Minded Devotion (Genesis 24:15–16)

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“Before he had finished speaking behold, Rebekah, who is born to Bethuel, the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother came out with her water jar on her shoulder. The young woman was very attractive in appearance, a maiden whom no man had known. She went down to the spring and filled her jar and came up.”
-Genesis 24:15–16

This is the first appearance in the Bible of Rebekah who would become Isaac’s wife as Abraham’s servant has gone out from Abraham to find a wife for Isaac.

God, we pray for those who are single to have single-minded devotion to you and that you would faithfully lead them to find spouses who honor you.

And from the very beginning, we have a picture of Rebekah’s beauty and really in a deeper way, God’s provision of a wife for Abraham’s son, Isaac. As I read these verses, I think about something. I pray for my children at least once a week, every week many times on multiple days during the week. I pray continually for my kids that God would either cause them, help them, lead them to thrive in singleness in a first Corinthians chapter seven kind of way. That if God grants them singleness, that they would live as singles with urgency for the spread of the gospel. And they would maximize singleness toward that end.

Or that if God caused them to be married, that he would provide a spouse, a wife for my boys, a husband for my daughter that loves the Lord with all their heart and soul and mind and strength, and loves others selflessly. That’s the two things I pray continually for a future spouse if God’s so leads for my children, that this spouse would love God wholeheartedly and loved them and others selflessly.

So I want to lead us to pray based on these two verses for either our lives if you are single for these things, for a thriving in singleness. And for if God and his wisdom wills for a spouse who loves God wholeheartedly and love you and others selflessly. And then I want to lead us to pray for people in our spheres of influence. So maybe you’re a parent with children to pray this for your children who are unmarried, or maybe you think about single brothers and sisters around you.

And I just want to lead us to pray for God’s provision in either singleness or in marriage based on this picture in Genesis chapter 24 of his provision of a wife for Isaac. So, God, we look to you to gather now. On behalf of single brothers and sisters around us, on behalf of children in our homes, on behalf of grandchildren, on behalf of children in your church. Again, just on behalf of anyone who right now you’ve given this gift of singleness to. God, we pray that as long as you grant singleness to them. We pray that you would help them to thrive for your glory in this.

God, we pray that you would give them single-minded devotion to you in first Corinthians seven kind of way, undivided affection for you, and attention to your purpose for their lives on a day-by-day basis in this world that you would spin their lives for the glory of your name, for the good of others, and for good in their life in every way. And God, it shouldn’t be your will, in your wisdom to provide a spouse just like you did here in Genesis chapter 24. Although, we’re not assuming you’re going to provide a spouse in exactly the same way as Rebekah going out with a water jar on her shoulder. We know though, God, every good gift comes from you.

And so God, we pray for your provision of good gifts in spouses. I think about my kids, others’ kids, grandkids. I think about brothers and sisters in the church who are single and desiring a spouse. God, we pray for your provision of a beautiful wife or a wonderful husband. God, we pray for your provision of a spouse who loves you with all their heart and soul and mind and strength. God, we pray for that. They would love you supremely wholeheartedly.

And then God, we pray for your provision of a spouse who as the overflow of love for you will love their spouse selflessly, lay down their life in love for them. God, we pray you would raise up, provide husbands who love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. God, we pray that you would provide wives who will love their husbands as Christ loves the church, and gladly honors and respects their loving leadership. God, we pray for the powerful picture of the gospel to be evident in marriages that you make a reality.

God, we look to you as the giver of all good gifts, including the gifts of singleness and marriage. And we pray these gifts over our children, grandchildren, over single brothers and sisters, even as we pray for married couples and marriages that are represented in those who are praying right now that you would help us to thrive in marriage in all the ways that you’ve designed us to thrive in marriage.

God, we pray this, especially amidst a culture where so much of marriage has been maligned. And we are missing your design for marriage and a culture where singleness is maligned in so many different ways. God help us to glorify you in singleness and marriage for our good, for the spread of the gospel and ultimately for your namesake. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.
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