A Prayer to the God Who Answers When We Call
By Tiffany Thibault
Come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone. - Genesis 35:3
Life does offer us some guarantees. We can expect there to be heartache, pain and struggles mixed right in there with all the good things that come our way. We can know that we alone are responsible for how we will react when difficult situations interrupt our happy plans.
In the life of Jacob, we see that he had his fair share of trouble. He manipulated and was manipulated, he did things his way and often had to suffer as a result of those actions. Yet, despite all of the problems he struggled with, this verse gives us a look at his heart for God.
The verse starts by giving an invitation to the people in his life to come worship with him: “Come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God.”
Jacob’s actions teach us that we need to share our faith; we need to bring people to worship God with us. There is great joy found at the altar of God. We can absolutely find rest, peace, hope and strength when we worship God down on our knees, in prayer. God answered Jacob in his distress, and as a result, he wanted his friends to go to worship God with him, to know the God who cared for him.
Another truth from this verse is that when God answers, we need to celebrate! We need to set a visual reminder to remind ourselves we have a God who helps us in our distress and answers our prayers. The alter was a visual reminder reminding God’s people that he was with them wherever they went. While we don’t need to build an altar to remember God is with us, some people frame a special Bible verse to hang on their wall, others journal what great things God is doing in their lives and still others post about how great God is on social media. God deserves the praise, and we can joyously celebrate with each other in how God moves in people's lives and hearts.
As we look at the rest of this verse, we see why Jacob went to Bethel to worship. Bethel was the place where Jacob had built the altar where he first worshiped God. In our verse, Jacob returns to that place to worship God again. He had many things to be thankful for. God answered him when he was in distress, and God has always been with him. We too have many reasons to worship the Lord. God does answer us. He does hear our cries when we are in distress. He does promise to always be with us. He deserves our worship every moment of our busy days.
When God answers our prayers, it strengthens our faith. It is so important to remind ourselves of all the ways that God works in our lives, and to note all the answers to prayers. The more we see Him work in our hearts and lives, the more we eagerly trust Him. The more we trust Him, the more we should want to bring others to worship with us. Let’s start today to seek Him more, to trust Him more, to praise Him more and to bring others to worship with us. He is the God who answers and who is always with us, so let’s share that with the people who are in our lives!
Thank you that you are the God who answers my prayers. Thank you that I can rest in the truth that in my distress, I can turn to you. Thank you for the peace that I have, knowing that you will listen and that you will answer. Thank you for the reminder that you have been with me wherever I go. Help me Lord to be a witness of your goodness, your love and your provision. Help me Lord to bring people to worship you.
In your name, I pray,
Tiffany Thibault enjoys living life with her husband, two teenage daughters and one very large dog. She is the author of the Bible study “Being Fruitful” and loves long walks, rainy days and a good cup of coffee.
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Originally published Monday, 07 March 2022.