Life Struggles and Prayer

Then Jacob prayed, "O God of my grandfather Abraham, and God of my father, Isaac - O LORD, you told me, 'Return to your own land and to your relatives.' And you promised me, 'I will treat you kindly.'  I am not worthy of all the unfailing love and faithfulness you have shown to me, your servant. When I left home and crossed the Jordan River, I owned nothing except a walking stick. Now my household fills two large camps!  O LORD, please rescue me from the hand of my brother, Esau. I am afraid that he is coming to attack me, along with my wives and children.  But you promised me, 'I will surely treat you kindly, and I will multiply your descendants until they become as numerous as the sands along the seashore - too many to count.'"  (Genesis 32:9-12 NLT)

Are you in a place in your life where you don’t know where to turn? Is there a situation that has you feeling backed against a wall and there seems like no escape? Do your problems seem to be multiplying faster than rabbits reproduce?  Maybe God seems very far away and you want to pray but don’t know what to say.

Scripture records such a situation in Genesis chapter 32. Jacob was going to meet his estranged brother Esau. The incoming reports were not promising; indeed they were the opposite! Icy fear filled Jacob’s heart as he pondered the fate of himself and his family. What did Jacob do? How did Jacob pray?

First Jacob acknowledged Jehovah as His God. Jacob submitted himself to God’s authority.

Then Jacob reminded God of His promises. Praying Scripture verses can help our hearts and minds line up with God’s plan.

Jacob recognized his total dependence on God. Jacob had a humble (not demanding) spirit as he poured out his heart to God. He remembered God’s blessings. Some of the most resilient people I have met are those who can see God’s blessings in the middle of the storms of life.

Note that Jacob really shared his emotions with God —he admitted his fear and confusion. He was honest with God about his mental and emotional state.

Lastly Jacob made his request to God. Jacob prayed for God’s deliverance.

What a great prayer!  What an awesome God Who listens to our prayers, cares about us beyond our wildest imaginations and responds to the struggles that are part of our lives here on earth.