“Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed. He divided the people who were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two camps.” 

Genesis 32:7 ESV

It had been a stressful time for Jacob. He had experienced a range of conflicts while living in a foreign land, including a complex relationship with his uncle, Laban, who manipulated him into marrying both his daughters. Complications developed because of the methods Jacob used to gain wealth and the way he and his own family left.

As Jacob neared his homeland, he anxiously realized he would confront his brother, Esau, who was approaching with four hundred men. How did Jacob respond?  “greatly afraid and distressed,” he sent everyone else away and got alone with God. Then, he devoted himself to serious prayer.

He reminded God that he was following His directions and promises. Humbling himself, Jacob acknowledged that he wasn’t worthy of the faithfulness God had shown him.

Admitting that he feared Esau, Jacob prayed for deliverance. He prayed all night, praying with such intensity that the Bible described this as wrestling with God. He continued wrestling even after the sun rose, declaring, “I will not let you go unless you bless me” (v. 26).

Jacob prayed until he had a breakthrough. He simply wouldn’t stop. And God rewarded him for his persistence, for prevailing in prayer.

How do you deal with stressful situations? Like Jacob, humble yourself before God. Tell Him your concerns. Be honest and detailed. Pray with focus and intensity. Keep praying until He answers and you have peace.


Father, these situations cause me stress: ________. I seek Your answers! Thank You for peace! In Jesus’ name, amen.