Prayer Tip: Joseph and the Pit

Posted Jun 19, 2022

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Daily Scripture

Genesis 37:3-5, 17b-24, 28

Now [Jacob] loved Joseph more than any of his other sons because he was born when Jacob was old. Jacob had made for him a long robe. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of his brothers, they hated him and couldn’t even talk nicely to him. Joseph had a dream and told it to his brothers, which made them hate him even more.

So Joseph went after his brothers and found them in Dothan. They saw Joseph in the distance before he got close to them, and they plotted to kill him. The brothers said to each other, “Here comes the big dreamer. Come on now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of the cisterns, and we’ll say a wild animal devoured him. Then we will see what becomes of his dreams!” When Reuben heard what they said, he saved him from them, telling them, “Let’s not take his life.” Reuben said to them, “Don’t spill his blood! Throw him into this desert cistern, but don’t lay a hand on him.” He intended to save Joseph from them and take him back to his father.

When Joseph reached his brothers, they stripped off Joseph’s long robe, took him, and threw him into the cistern, an empty cistern with no water in it. When some Midianite traders passed by, they pulled Joseph up out of the cistern. They sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver, and they brought Joseph to Egypt.

Prayer Tip

by Jennifer Creagar, Community Assistance Coordination Director

In today’s Scripture, we find Joseph at the bottom of a well. What’s worse, he is there as a result of the anger and jealousy of those who should have been closest to him. So, on top of fear for his life, physical pain and injury, we can add the heartbreak of being rejected and betrayed by someone who was supposed to love you. At this moment, Joseph is in a very dark place, in physical fact, and in his heart.

Many of us can see ourselves in Joseph at this moment. We all, at some point, experience a dark place that seems impossible to overcome. We can all know fear, pain, and heartbreak. My own “bottom of the well” moment came when a very nice doctor in a white coat looked at me and said, “Well….cancer….” Over the next year, I found myself falling into that well several times. At the very beginning of that adventure, I was given a Scripture and a prayer that helped sustain me and remind me that, no matter how frightened I was, no matter how angry I was, no matter how alone I felt, I was surrounded by God’s love and presence. I did not have to fight this battle alone. In fact, I could take refuge as these terrible moments passed by.

I offer this to you, a promise from God, that refuge and love exist:

Psalm 57:1
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, until the destroying storms pass by.
Amen.

Note: if the storms in your life are overwhelming, and you need someone to help you right away, there are good, caring people available:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-488-7386
Johnson County Mental Health Crisis Line 913-268-0156

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