In great fear and distress, thinking that his brother Esau was coming with four hundred men to avenge himself, for the wrong that Jacob had done against Esau, Jacob had no where to turn, but to God. He prays to God, making this the first recorded example of prayer in the Bible.
By addressing God as God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac – he personalized his relationship to God and was affirming the covenant relationship that his grandfather and father had with God. Jacob then recounts the promise of God that guaranteed his safe return and then recognizes that he was unworthy of the least of God’s mercies that he had been shown. He then makes a plea of deliverance, by praying “Deliver me” from impending danger and possibly death, in the hands of his brother, Esau. who’s blessings he had taken by deception. (Genesis 32:9-12)
Points to ponder:
From this first recorded prayer of Jacob, we see a model of prayer that everyone in the world ought to pray. First, one must recognize that God is a personal God. Second, God is a promise keeping God. Third, we are unworthy of God’s mercies and yet God shows us his mercies. And most importantly, we must each pray the prayer of deliverance, asking God to deliver us – to deliver us from sin, and the sting of death. This prayer of deliverance is in essence the prayer of confession – confessing that we are unworthy sinners in need of a Savior. And those who pray (cry) the prayer for deliverance, can be assured that God would deliver us (Psalm 34:6). Deliverance from fear and death is only possible by believing in Jesus, the Great Deliverer, through whom we have victory (1 Corinthians 15:55-57).
Have you prayed the prayer of deliverance? Have you confessed you need for Jesus, The Savior?
Genesis 32:9-12 (KJV)
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.
Psalm 34:6-7 (KJV)
6 This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
1 Corinthians 15:55-57 (KJV)
55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.