January 29: Jacob’s prayer for deliverance

Are you afraid? Is there something coming that could destroy your life? Are you in fear of what the future is bringing?

Jacob was scared to death. He cheated his brother out of the blessing (Genesis 27), and Esau declared “then will I slay my brother Jacob” (Genesis 27:16). Now Esau has 400 men with him, coming to meet Jacob (Genesis 32:6).

So Jacob prayed.

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.

Genesis 32:9-12

Jacob called unto the LORD and claimed the promises.

  1. I am obeying when You said to return! (Genesis 32:9)
  2. I have been listening to Your Truth (Genesis 32:10)
  3. I need Your help (Genesis 32:11)
  4. I’m claiming Your promise (Genesis 32:12)
The reconciliation of Jacob and Esau

January 28: Nehemiah’s search for favor

…Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy.

Nehemiah 13:22

Sometimes we like to be proud of things that we have done. We want to get recognition from our boss, our friends, even fame among those we don’t know.

Nehemiah worked hard for the Lord. But he didn’t go telling his pastor how wonderful of a Christian he was. He didn’t put it on his resume and said this was evidence of why I should be a deacon.

He also endured many problems – enemies without and within. Managing a construction project is a tedious project. He didn’t complain to his subordinates, or whine to his friends about the challenges.

He sought recognition, favor, and encouragement from God. Whether your work is going well or causing frustration – take your joys and your burdens to the LORD!

January 27: Job’s prayer from frustration

And said, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Job 1:21

Are you frustrated? Has life been miserable to you? I was talking to a friend, within a short period of time he lost his family, his wealth, and his health. Job knew what that was like – but how did Job pray when we’d be frustrated with how life is going?

Job recognized he started with nothing, and he will end with nothing. Everything is under God’s sovereign hand.

When life is rough – we can still say, “Blessed be the name of the Lord!”