This article was published in Rays of Love magazine in June 2006
The Bible says that after 20 years of hard labor Jacob was on his way back to Canaan. He was going with his wives, eleven sons, a daughter and lot of oxen, asses, flocks, men servants and women servants. While he was on his way, from the other side his brother Esau was coming to meet him with four hundred men and Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed. In this distress, he prayed the following prayer, which I believe will help us in our time of need and distress.
Gen 32:9 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.”
Let us study a few things from this prayer:
1) RELATIONSHIP: Jacob knew his God. He knew that God was the God of his grandfather Abraham and the God of his father Issac and the same God was his God to whom he was talking to. Jacob had personal relationship with God. Jesus also when He taught us to pray emphasized or began with relationship saying, "Our Father". Our prayers should be based on our relationship and intimacy with God. How can you ask a person something when you don't know Him personally? Therefore, it is a must for us to enter into relationship with God through Jesus Christ and also to grow stronger in our relationship with Him. I strongly believe that most of the miracles are the product of His mercy and also our relationship and intimacy with God. If you have no relationship with Jesus Christ, then right now tell Him, "Lord come into my heart and be the Lord of my life and from now on I want to have a close relationship with you Jesus". Go ahead and develop your communication and relationship with Jesus, Love Him, Trust Him, don't hinder Him to work in your life by willfully sinning. Read His Word, Worship Him and you will grow in your relationship with Him.
2) REMINDING GOD: Jacob said, "Thou saidst Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, I will surely do thee good and I will deal well with thee": Jacob reminded God His promise and sought God's mercy to fulfill the same. Recollect and remind God His promise and ask Him to fulfill it because of His mercy. Nehemiah did the same he said, "Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations: But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there". Nehemiah 1:8&9
Daniel also did the same (Daniel 9:2&3) he sought God for deliverance when he knew that seventy years of bondage were accomplished according to the prophecy by Jeremiah in Jer. 29:10 "For thus saith the Lord, that after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place". You too remind God the promises He made to you and ask Him to fulfill them.
3) REALISATION: Jacob realised two things:
a) His Unworthiness for all God's mercy and truth upon his life.
b) He also realized that he had left his house with just a staff in his hand and now he was returning with such great possession and a lovely family and had a grateful attitude towards God.
Genesis 32:10 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.
Even in Genesis 33 verse 5 & 11 Jacob introducing his children to Esau said, "the children which God has graciously given to His servant". "God has graciously dealt with me and I have enough. "
Jacob realized that everything he had was because of the mercy of God. Beloved we need to be always grateful to God and realize that whatever we are and have today is because of God's mercy. Therefore, let us be grateful to the Lord forever.
4) PRAYER FOR RELEASE: It is only now that Jacob prayed for release saying, 'Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he come and smite me, and the mother with the children".
Jer. 33:3 Thus saith the LORD the maker thereof, the LORD that formed it, to establish it; the LORD is his name; Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
Even today God is in the business of delivering people because He loves us. King David also testified saying, “I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears........This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles” (Ps.34:4,6). There are countless number of people in the Bible and outside the Bible, even in our time who have called upon God and God heard them and delivered them. God will do the same for you too as you call upon Him for yourself or your dear one's deliverance. Remember deliverance and miracles are part of His nature. Train yourself to talk to God and believe He will do it for you.
At this juncture, I want to share with you another secret to receiving deliverance. Do unto others what you want God to do to you. In other words, what you make happen for others God will make it happen for you. Joseph helped others with their dream and God fulfilled his dream. Simply pray and work for other people's deliverance and you will notice you are getting delivered. In becoming a channel of blessing to others you will be blessed.
5) REMINDING GOD AGAIN: Jacob once again told God, "thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude".
You will notice that Jacob in his short prayer, twice he reminded God the promise, He was emphasizing what God had told him.
Here let me share with you some important aspects of reminding God His promise.
a) We should know one thing that reminding God does not change God, it changes us, it puts us in the place of believing God and honoring God by believing that He is able to fulfill what He has said.
b) It shows God that we are serious about the situation, serious about His promise and this is what we want Him do in our lives, as well as in the lives of others.
c) It also teaches us that we hear from God personally and accurately. Only then we will have faith to remind God of what He has told us. See, how important it is to hear from God, isn't it?
Therefore, beloved as you read His Word develop a habit of hearing God on everyday basis and this will bless your life forever.
It is my prayer that God will not only make this article a blessing to you but will also reveal more secrets to you from this little prayer of Jacob and will help you commune with Him in a more intimate and deeper way. Remember, the next thing that happened to Jacob after the prayer-he had an encounter with God that changed him from Jacob to Israel. May the Lord give us such encounters with Him that will change our nature forever and we in turn will change others.
God bless you!
S. R. Manohar