Prayer Basics

Psalm 50:15 says, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor me.”  

We desire to be people of prayer. Therefore, it is important to practice a regular rhythm of prayer in the church and our lives to grow more passionate in seeking the Lord for a move in our lives over the weightiest need of our lives.  

Genesis 32 is one of the most interesting passages of the Bible. A man goes expectantly, and boldly before the God of all Creation with his burden.  

Jacob and Esau were twin brothers, sons of Isaac. Jacob tricked Esau out of his birthright. The birthright gave the first born the inheritance and a blessing from the father that contained the promises made to Abraham.  

Esau was furious with Jacob when he found out that Isaac gave his blessing to Jacob. Esau made it clear to Jacob that after Isaac died, he would kill him. Jacob flees his father’s house and is gone for thirty years.  

In chapters 30 and 31, God tells Jacob to go back home to his family. Jacob begins the journey but the question on his mind is, will Esau still want to kill me? It has been 30 years, is he still mad?  

Three Basics to Prayer

  1. Pray with desperation 

It is likely that every person has some desperate situation in which they need God to work. Some people may have given up on prayer. Then days turn into weeks, and weeks into months and hope deferred makes the heart sick. It just becomes easier to cope than to hope. The Lord wants you to come back to hope.
In verse 22, Jacob finds out that Esau is coming with 400 soldiers to find him. You do not take an army to throw a welcome party, you take an army when you are going to kill someone.  

Jacob is trying to mitigate the fallout, so he sent caravans with gifts ahead of him. He hoped that the gifts would placate Esau’s anger.  

The Lord will often allow us to get into a situation we cannot fix, in order for us to understand, He is the only one who can.  Most of us think that the problem is self-discipline, that is not the issue. The problem is self-sufficiency.  

Someone said, “If you are not praying, then you are all too confident that time, money, power, and influence is all you need in life. And you will always be a little too tired, a little too busy to pray. But if like Jesus, you realize you cannot do it alone, no matter how tired, busy, or overwhelmed, you will make prayer a priority.”
Jacob was a deceiver. He had been used to fixing every situation he got into. However, now he is in a situation he cannot fix. If you are in a situation that you cannot fix, cry out to God, seek Him!

It is time to stop studying the problems and start studying the promises.  

In verse 24, Jacob is left alone, and he started wrestling with God. They wrestled all night long. God had promised Jacob 20 years before this, that He was going to bless his offspring and family. Now, you see a guy that is saying, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 

  1. Pray with persistence  

Many of the things the Lord want to do in your life will only come through persistent prayer.  
20 years have passed since God promised his blessing over Jacob and his descendants. Jacob is wrestling with God, and he is saying, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” Some call that to be audacious, but it is faith.  

Many of God’s blessings are released into our lives through consistent prayer. Sometimes the problem is not a prayer problem, it is a persistence problem.  

What do you do when God does not answer your prayer?  

  • Remember that He is still in the process of changing you 
  • In His sovereignty, He has better plans  

Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Do not look at your circumstances and say, God does not care. Look at the cross, He does care. When Jacob admits who he is, a deceiver; God says you will not be that anymore, you will now be called Israel.  

God will change Esau’s heart, but in the process, He changed Jacob. The prayer was all about changing Esau, but God changed Jacob.  

  1. Pray with complete honesty  

Pastor Chris Williams
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