- The Word of Faith is not “If” but “Since”
- The Cost of the Choice Based on Outward Appearance
- The Giver of Life
- The Giver of Blessings
- What God Sees
- What Do We Long For? Home
- God’s Token
- Doubting God
- Prayer of Faith
- The Value of Being Alone
- The Value of the Limp
- Signs of the Change
- What Makes a Child of God Stink among the World?
Text verses: Genesis 32:9-12
“And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac…” (Genesis 32:9)
God had commanded Jacob to return to the land of his fathers and to his kindred (Genesis 31:3). Jacob had seen the House of God, even the Gate of Heaven, on his way twenty years before this time. (See Genesis 28:10-22.) God had confirmed the Everlasting Covenant to Jacob (as He had with Abraham and Isaac, Jacob’s grandfather and father).
Genesis 28:15 is a pivotal verse for Jacob because it contains God’s Promise to keep Jacob and to bring him back home:
“And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.” (Genesis 28:15)
Then God had watched over Jacob all through the next twenty years, as He had promised. (See Genesis 31:5, 7, 12, 24, 42, etc.) Even now, upon Jacob’s journey back home, God had sent him a band of “the angels of God” to meet him in the way (Genesis 32:1-2).
However, Jacob listened to his servants whom he had sent to meet Esau, his brother; and the Scripture says:
“Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed: and he divided the people that was with him, and the flocks, and herds, and the camels, into two bands;” (Genesis 32:7)
Then in Genesis 32:8, the Scriptures reveal Jacob’s plan of the flesh; sight-walking and not faith-walking.
But Jacob did the right thing at last; he turned to Jehovah, the God of Abraham and Isaac, and began his petition to God for help.
The first step in prayer is understanding what prayer is. In its simplest definition, prayer is speaking with God on the Basis of the Atonement of Christ. Once you have been Born of God the Spirit (called Regeneration, or Conversion), then you have access to God, through Christ (John 14:6; Hebrews 4:15-16). (See also Romans 8:26.) When in God’s Presence, you confess; worship and praise Him; ask for prayer according to His Will; and then lay out your petitions on the Basis of His Grace, Mercy, and Love (see 1 John 5:14-15):
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:” (1 John 5:14)
“And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” (1 John 5:15)
What is recorded in Genesis 32:9-12 is a beautiful picture of the way of prayer for the saint to “…obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
A. The Person Addressed (Genesis 32:9)
1) “And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac…” (Genesis 32:9a). The Child of God is to address his prayer to none other than God. None can help but God.
“Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.” (Psalms 60:11)
(See also Psalms 118:8-9; Isaiah 46:9-11; 43:11-13; 45:21-22; Proverbs 19:21.)
a) God is the Sovereign Ruler of His Universe. He is the Creator, Controller, and Consummator of all things (Genesis 1).
b) He is the Giver of Life, and the Taker of Life. All things move and have their being in Christ.
c) Therefore, Peter said in John 6:67-69, “…Lord, to whom shall we go?” Peter understood and acknowledged that Christ was God in the Flesh, the Lord of Glory; and there is no other to go to for help.
2) Jacob reminds God of the command to return “…the LORD which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred…” (Genesis 32:9b). I am going back because of You God; because of Your Plan and Purpose.
3) You also promised You would be with me, “…and I will deal well with thee:” (Genesis 32:9c). You said You would take care of me. But look at my troubles now. Esau and his 400 men are about to come upon me for hurt (so Jacob thought).
Next, Jacob related to God:
B. The Past Allowed (Genesis 32:10)
1) Jacob related to God of his understanding that he was not worthy of:
a) “…the least of all the mercies…” (Genesis 32:10b)
b) “…and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed…” (Genesis 32:10c)
c) “…unto thy servant…” (Genesis 32:10d)
2) Jacob acknowledged:
a) His unworthiness of God’s mercy on him;
b) God’s revelation of Truth to him;
c) That he was indeed a servant of God.
3) Jacob started his prayer exactly where all of God’s Children should begin their petition to God – that is, praising God for:
a) His Amazing Grace; God’s Eternal Purpose in Christ; the God of his father Abraham and Isaac;
b) God’s Mercy; God’s Performance of His Grace to him in Christ;
c) The Revelation of Truth; the Knowledge of God; and His Will revealed (see John 15:15);
d) The Relationship that he had to God as a servant.
Jacob said, God I thank You for Your Grace and Mercy; knowing that I was unworthy of Your Love. I know who I am and who You have made me in Christ (Ephesians 1:4-7).
Then Jacob proceeded to:
C. The Petition Asked (Genesis 32:11)
Jacob prayed in Genesis 32:11, “Deliver me, I pray thee… from the hand of Esau: for I fear him…”
1) Jacob was afraid (see Genesis 32:7). Jacob had begun to go back to sight-walking and not faith-walking. When this happens, the Child of God forgets God’s Promises; fear comes from relying on one’s flesh and not on God’s Word of Promise. (See Genesis 28:13-22.) It comes from doubting God’s ability to keep His Word.
2) Another example is that of Peter, sinking in the water (Matthew 14:30).
Jacob realized his need of God’s Deliverance when he came to the end of himself. In prayer, the first step is confession of sins (1 John 1:9). Acknowledge who God is and who you are in Him. (Read Psalms 59:1-17.) Next, petition God; and Victory will come to you (1 John 5:4).
Jacob poured out his need and his fear before God; and so must every Child of God in need (Hebrews 4:15-16).
Remember prayer is not for God; but for us to know the Will of God, and to submit to His Will. Start now by confession; remembrance of God’s Promises; and petition Him for deliverance.
D. The Promise Acclaimed (Genesis 32:12)
Jacob reminded God of His Everlasting Covenant to Abraham, Isaac, and himself (Genesis 17:7). (See Galatians 3:16; really pointing to Christ, the Seed, to Whom the Promise was made on our behalf.) (See Genesis 28:13-15; 31:3, 5, etc.)
All prayer must be based on God’s Word. “And thou saidst…” (Genesis 32:12).
Therefore, in times of trouble, we come to God on the Basis of the Atonement of Christ (Hebrews 4:15-16; John 14:6; Psalms 56:3-13; 62:1-12).