Sunday, November 20, 2011

Deconstructing Jacob's prayer

Gen. 32:9-12
(9)  And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the LORD which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee:
(10)  I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.
(11)  Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children.
(12)  And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.

1.  Jacob addresses God by acknowledging his personal relationship with God. (v.9a)

2.  The basis for Jacob's prayer is God's promises. (v.9b; 12 cf. 31:3, 13) - see also Ps. 119:49.  The key to effective prayer is claiming the promises of God in His word.  This is also another reason why we want to be students of the Holy Bible.

3.  The attitude of prayer - humility (v.10).  In the N.T. the Lord Jesus was moved by people who approached Him with humility of heart (example:  The centurion in Matt. 8:8;  the woman of Canaan in Matt. 15:27-28).  Praise God for His mercies (see also Lam. 3:22).

4.  Jacob was direct and specific in his prayer (v.11).  He expressed to God his request for deliverance from his brother, Esau.  Through prayer, Jacob was able to speak to God about his fear.  God is really interested in hearing all about our trials.  In Jacob's case his was "greatly afraid" and "distressed." (see also Phil. 4:6, Heb. 4:15 and 1 Pet. 5:7).

Lots of good lessons and more we can learn about prayer through Jacob's prayer.

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