So He said, “I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”
Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?”
And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” 15 Moreover God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you” (Exodus 3:10-14).
Does God always answer your prayers? What do you think is the reason your prayers have not been answered? Many followers of Jesus Christ, including me had to endure periods during their lives when they doubted God. You have found yourself in almost dire straits, and you have prayed for deliverance, but it never happened. It seemed God is so far away and out of your reach.
However, the devil is a liar. God is never more than a prayer away. But, prayer without faith is futile. Subsequent to healing the boy with epilepsy the disciples came to Jesus privately and asked; “Why could we not cast out the demon?” And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief. For verily, I say unto you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove, and nothing shall be impossible unto you” (Matthew 17:20).
The Faith of the Centurion
“When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”
Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”
The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For, I am a man under the authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment” (Matthew 8:5-13).
So it seems lack of faith is the reason most of our prayers go unanswered. Petitioning God is a serious act. It should not be used frivolously. Instead, we should be sincere when we pray and believe that we will receive what we asked God for. However, avoid getting carried away every time you get a headache.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creäture: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
You have heard the clichés, “What goes around comes around.” And, “Do good and good will follow you.” Like many of us, Jacob wrestled with his sordid past. All the white lies, scheming, and scandalizing came back to haunt him. He tried to run away, yet he could not do so. He was like a spider trapped in its own web of deceit and craftiness. Still, more than anything, Jacob wrestled with God. The Bible tells us that Jacob wrestled with God a whole night along the banks of the Jabbok river. He rolled in the mud of his mistakes, but he was determined to change.
Sick of his past and in desperate need of a fresh start, he met his Redeemer in person. And because Jacob wanted to change so badly, God honored his determination. He gave him a new name (Israel) and a fresh promise. However, Jacob did not leave God’s presence unscathed. God gave him a wrenched hip as a reminder of that mysterious night on the banks of the Jabbok river.
”And Jacob arose that night and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons and crossed over the ford of Jabbok. He took them, sent them over the brook, and sent over what he had. Then Jacob was left alone, probably to have a quiet talk with God, and an Angel wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. Now when the angel saw that He did not prevail against Jacob, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of the joint as He wrestled with him. And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.”
However, Jacob said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!” So the angel said to him, “What is your name?” He said, “Jacob.” And the Angel said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked, saying, “Tell me Your name, I pray.” And He said, “Why is it that you ask about My name?” And He blessed him there.
So Jacob called the name of the place Penuel: “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” The sun rose upon him as he crossed the Penuel, limping because of his hip. Therefore, to this day, the children of Israel do not eat the muscle that shrank, which is on the hip socket, because He touched the socket of Jacob’s hip in the muscle that shrank” (Genesis 32:28-32).
Like Jacob, we should unmask our stained hearts and grimy souls and be honest with the One who knows our most secret sins. The result could be refreshing. We know it was for Jacob. After his encounter with God, Jacob was a new man.
Psalm 46 (NIV)
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Come and see what the LORD has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.