Increase Our Faith – Persist in Prayer

I want to persist in prayer, but it’s hard.  How do I know that my Lord listens?  How do I know that he cares about me?  What if the answer he offers isn’t good enough?

You might think after twenty years, what did Jacob have to worry about – all that inheritance stealing, deceiving of parents.  Sure maybe Esau wanted to kill his brother twenty years ago.  People don’t hold grudges that long, do they?  Maybe other people do – there are a lot of people in the world, but not people from God’s chosen family?  What about today?  Do Christians ever hold grudges?  All of us have been wronged at one point or another, but after a day or two that wrong is forgotten, right?  Wrong.  The sad truth is that Jacob had good reason to fear his brother Esau, we hold onto our anger and our hurt from sin.  We don’t always forgive as the Lord has forgiven us.  As we enter into the topic of prayer – know that holding onto any sin can prevent us from wrestling with God in prayer.  When we hold onto our sin we only hurt ourselves – so badly we can damage our soul.

As Jacob was about to go home he sent messengers ahead to tell Esau he was coming, Esau responded – he started out meet his little brother Jacob with 400 men!  Were these 400 of Esau’s best friends whom he wanted to introduce to his brother or was this group of men an army who would slaughter everything that belonged to him?  Assuming the worst Jacob tried to appease his brother by sending waves of gifts.  First 220 goats – all for Esau.  Then 220 sheep – all for Esau.  Five waves of gifts – Jacob hoped maybe these will help soften up my big brother.  It’s at this point that our text picks up.  Jacob sends over his family hoping that Esau will see that he’s a family man.  The man who had achieved so much in life by lies and tricks was out of ideas.  He didn’t know what to do.  That’s exactly where God wanted him.

Want to heart more?  Watch this week’s message, the second in our series – Lord, Increase Our Faith: Persist in Prayer.