19These are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham fathered Isaac, 20and Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean, to be his wife. 21And Isaac prayed to the LORD for his wife, because she was barren. And the LORD granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22The children struggled together within her, and she said, “If it is thus, why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the LORD. 23And the LORD said to her,
“Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples from within you shall be divided;
the one shall be stronger than the other,
the older shall serve the younger.”
24When her days to give birth were completed, behold, there were twins in her womb. 25The first came out red, all his body like a hairy cloak, so they called his name Esau. 26Afterward his brother came out with his hand holding Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.
Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah. Jacob and Esau were born when he was sixty. Verse 21 says that Isaac prayed to the Lord for Rebekah to be able to bear children. It is hard to believe that Isaac waited for twenty years before he started to pray for her to be able to bear children. It would have become evident after not too long a period that they were having a problem conceiving. How long did Isaac pray? At a minimum it was ten years.
God is not in the business of answering our prayers immediately. Anyone who has prayed at all knows this to be true. We are called to pray and not give up. The reason we are called not to give up is because God has no intention of giving what we ask for as soon as we ask for it.
Isaac knew the promise of God to bless him and keep the covenant given to Abraham. This would have been an incentive for him to pray. It was not a key to an easy life.
God has made great promises to his children and we are meant to know them and find great encouragement from them. But we are meant to live by faith, not have an easy life.
Take great hope from God’s promises to you and use them to live in obedience, faith and hope, knowing that God cannot lie. Do not measure the faithfulness of God according to your understanding of how quick He should be in keeping his promises to you. He will give you what He promises at exactly the right time and it will be better than if He did it according to your timetable. Thank God that He knows best, not only in what He gives you, but in when. And do not cease to pray.