by Pastor Greg Laurie
The Peril of Prayerlessness
“If you need wisdom—if you want to know what God wants you to do—ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking.” (James 1:5)
The Bible’s first recorded prayer of Jacob’s is found in Genesis 32:9–16. Up to this point, seven chapters of Genesis have been devoted Jacob’s life, with no mention of prayer on his part. It makes me wonder if Jacob had ever prayed up to this point. It is possible, but the Bible doesn’t specifically mention it. It may have been Jacob’s very lack of prayer and lack of dependence on God that made him feel as though he had to manipulate his circumstances.
It was commendable that Jacob was reaching out to God, and there are even some good things about his prayer. He acknowledged the God of Abraham and Isaac as the true God. He confessed his own unworthiness. He brought his petition to the Lord. But it would have been better if he had said, “Lord, what should I do now?” Instead, he prayed and made his plans. In other words, he decided what he was going to do and then asked God to bless it.
Is that not like us? We make our plan and then asked God to bless it. But that is not really praying about a matter. Instead, we should pray along the lines of, “Lord give me wisdom from your Word and from godly people who will guide me scripturally. Help me do the right thing.” But Jacob did not do that. He wanted what was right, but he went about it in the wrong way.
God helps those who can’t help themselves. This is what Jacob needed to realize. Let’s learn to seek out God’s will rather than bypass it.
Copyright © 2004 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.