PRAYING TO THE COVENANT MAKER
And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, 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. Please deliver me from the hand of Esau, for I fear him. 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.’ ” Genesis 32:9-12
How desperate have you been in prayer? Days can go by and prayers are pretty casual. “Bless my family today and help them love You more!” I might even pray this while driving or eating my morning yogurt.
But there is another kind of prayer. It sounds like Jacob’s prayer before Esau comes to meet him with 400 men. It’s the kind we pray when we are fighting for our lives.
There’s a door jam in our house that borders our guest room that has been gripped and wet with tears on many, many occasions. Getting up in the night to pray, I lay my head against it, hold on to the frame tightly, and plead with God to remember His covenant with me and my family. Utter desperation was the backdrop of these prayers.
It is not arrogant to come humbly before God and remind Him of His promises. It is to take hold of His robe and plead for your life. It’s the equivalent of a child saying to his father, “But you said!” Is not a father’s heart moved by that? Does a good father respond with a rebuke? “How dare you remind me of what I said!”
God is a Covenant Maker and does not make promises begrudgingly. He loves to do it and is passionate about keeping them. My relationship with Him, just like Jacob, is often one of wrestling over my Canaan. I don’t engage God with a fist in this wrestling match. I am one trying to get to the bottom of my own angst and inaccurate perceptions of His character. In the end, I am aware of my own unworthiness and humbled by His gracious heart.
You have heard all my pleading. I’m glad that I never have to stop being Your child and undoubtedly, Lord, you’ll still hear lots of pleading before I’m home. Amen