For the week of November 13, 1999 / 4 Kislev 5760
Torah: Bereshit / Genesis 25:19 - 28:9
Haftarah: Malachi 1:1-2:7

God Answers Prayer

Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant (Bereshit / Genesis 25:21).

How we respond to a problem reveals a lot about ourselves. These reactions show what or whom we rely on most.

Isaac and his wife, Rebekah, wanted children. But they, like many other couples, were having difficulty getting pregnant. While we are not told hold long they struggled over this, we know that Isaac prayed and God answered him. Rebekah became pregnant.

This is very straightforward. They were having a problem. Isaac prayed. Problem solved.

What would you have done? Go to the doctor? Read books? Blame your wife or husband? Blame yourself? Try harder?

Maybe instead of striving for a solution, you may just give up. You can give up in different ways. You may justify your predicament (I thought this was a bad thing, but it is actually good for me). You might pretend it doesn’t really exist (Problem, what problem?). You may strive to cope (I’ll be OK. Don’t worry I’ll be OK).

All of these responses assume that we can take control and solve our problems. But it appears in this case that Isaac didn't think so. He knew that their solution could not be solved by humans. He prayed to God.

Some people think of praying as a sign of weakness. I guess that is true. When we pray to God about a problem, we are saying that we cannot solve it ourselves, that we need help beyond our own wisdom and abilities.

Praying is also a most practical expression of faith in God:

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him (Hebrews 11:6)

If you believe that God is real and true to his word, then, like Isaac, you would go to him with your problems.

What are you waiting for?

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