Psalm 3:4 “I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain.”

A prayer is just a beginning. We pray for certain things and hope for specific outcomes while God answers our prayers in unexpected ways. Life stories recorded in the Bible speak about answered prayer, as in Jacob’s case. Jacob’s parents Isaac and Rebekkah had been childless for the longest time and so they prayed to the Lord (Genesis 25:21):

“Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant [with twins no less].”

Rebekah’s twins were named Jacob and Esau. Sibling rivalry led to Jacob’s early departure from home when he was still very young. Without the protection of his father’s clan he felt extremely vulnerable. So Jacob submitted his request to the only One who could help him now (Genesis 28:20-22):

“Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear so that I return safely to my father’s household, then the Lord will be my God and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.”

Jacob’s prayer consisted of three emergency items:

  • Protection
  • Food to eat
  • Clothes to wear

God granted his request, and exceeded his expectations; in fact He went above and beyond Jacob’s humble request and blessed him with:

  • Protection
  • Food to eat
  • Clothes to wear
  • Wives and children
  • Livestock, which in modern terms could mean a thriving business

Jacob left home with just the clothes on his back and not a penny to his name and came back a Patriarch of a new tribe which would eventually turn into the nation of Israel. God’s Son Jesus would descend from Jacob’s tribe. And who could have come up with an idea such as this: God slipping into the role of a human being to help us? These are God-sized answers to human-sized prayers.

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