Read Genesis 32
Jacob was returning to his own country, when his messengers came back saying Esau (his brother) is coming with four hundred men. Remembering what he had done to his brother, Jacob now feared for his life, his wife and his children.
There’s nothing like a little fear or uncertainty to get us praying. That’s what Jacob did. Genesis 32:9-12 NJV says:
Then Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, the LORD who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your family, and I will deal well with you’. I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which You have shown Your servant; for I crossed over this Jordan with my staff, and now I have become two companies. Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, lest he come and attack me and the mother with the children. For You said, ‘I will surely treat you well, and make your descendants as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.'”
This is a good prayer pattern for us too. Notice his reverence, humility and honesty displayed in this prayer.
Reverence to God comes first – “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, the Lord who said to me”. Putting God first helps us put our requests in proper perspective.
Humility is expected. “I am not worthy.” When we acknowledge God is God and we are not, we will be humble.
The request comes next “Deliver me”. God wants us to ask Him for things. James tells us we don’t receive because we don’t ask. So bring your requests before the Lord, but do it in an honoring order.
Be honest with your feelings – “for I fear him”. God knows how you feel, but it is good for us to express our feelings. Bringing these feelings forward and putting them in the hands of God brings comfort and peace.
Remember God’s promises – “You said…” This is not really reminding God what He said. God does not forget. It’s more about reinforcing His truth in our minds. It’s a reminder God is faithful to His Word.
Next time you pray, see if you have these elements present in this order. After you pray, it’s time for action. Moving forward despite uncertainty all because God said so is putting faith in motion.
Lord my God, we are your humble servants. We ask for deliverance from anything that hinders our relationship with you. Sometimes we can’t tell what’s getting in the way, but we know you can. Guide us by your Holy Spirit, reveal to us what needs to change in our lives. Draw us close through remembrance of all your glorious promises to us. In Jesus’ name Amen.
In God’s Grace, Elizabeth Marks