“Jacob said, ‘Oh God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, oh Lord who said to me, “Return to your country and to your kindred that I may do you good,” I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant. For with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps. Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he might come to attack me, the mothers with the children. But you said, “I will surely do you good and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.”
Oh, this is such a great prayer. Just think about what Jacob is doing as he prays, what scripture is teaching us about prayer here. Jacob was appealing to God’s promises. He is trusting in God’s promises. He’s saying, “God, you told me this would be good, for me to come back.” He’s afraid. He’s about to meet Esau, Esau who wanted to kill him before he left home years before. He’s afraid of what Esau might try to do to him, to his family. So he’s saying, “God, you promised me that this was going to lead to good.” And he prays, trusting in God’s presence, saying, “I know you are with me. I know you’re with me,” and leaning on God’s grace. He’s thanking God.
Like Jacob, we are unworthy of the love God has shown us, but can trust in His promises and rest in the grace that is in Him.
I love this picture. Here’s Jacob, as we talked about numerous times already, the deceiver, the liar. He’s saying, “I am not worthy of the love and faithfulness that you’ve shown to me, the blessing you’ve given to me. I don’t deserve it.” So all of that illustrates how we pray, even right now. We pray, God, we’re not worthy. Not one of us listening right now is worthy of the grace you have poured out on our lives, of the mercy you have shown to us. We are sinners. We have sinned in so many ways, and yet you have continually poured out your grace and your mercy on us. All glory be to your name, for your steadfast love and faithfulness to us.
So we trust today in your presence with us, based on your faithfulness to us. We trust that you are with us right now. Oh God, help us to realize the weight of that reality, the wonder of that reality, that you are with us right now, that not one of us is alone. The God of the universe is with us, and that you have made promises to us, promises for our good, that as we walk in obedience to you, following your Word, in step with your Spirit, that you will lead and guide and direct us, everything around us, ultimately for your good and for your glory. We trust in your promises to us.
And so we pray with gratitude just like Jacob. For your grace, in light of your presence, with dependence upon your promises. I pray especially for people right now who are tempted to be afraid of this or that in the future, of this or that going on in their lives right now. Lord, I just pray that you would give them the same confidence that you gave to Jacob as he prayed. May they know that you are with them. May they know that your grace belongs to them, and may they trust in the promises on which they can stand. And may they trust in the promises that you have given.
God, thank you. Thank you for this privilege of prayer. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
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