Prayer and Wrestling…Strong Opponents or Friends?

I have been studying in the book of Genesis. This morning I read chapters 26-32…….how very interesting. Besides the run around circus of two sisters desiring off spring from the same husband, I read of Jacob’s interesting night of wrestling with God.

The verses that spiked my study and curiosity were 25-26 (of chapter 32); “When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint AS HE wrestled with him. Then he said, “let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” I also read another reference of this account in Hosea 12:3-4, “In the womb he (Jacob) took his brother (Esau) by the heel, and in his manhood he strove with God. He strove with the angel and prevailed; he wept and sought his favor.”

I am not a biblical scholar nor am I a theologian, but from a childhood faith and understanding that scripture interprets scripture, I read this morning from the Genesis account that Jacob was a wrestl’n man. He wanted what was not his from the very beginning and somehow managed to get it. I think he was a fighter, he was clever, maybe even calculated, and on top of that persistent. Just trace his life from the womb of his mother; he came out holding his brother’s heel ( Gen. 25:22-26); He strategically persuaded his brother Esau to sell him his birthright (Gen. 25:29-34); and then with the help of his mother, he deceived his own father into giving him the family blessing (Gen. 2). And it didn’t end there, he was willing to work seven years for the woman he loved, but ended up working 14 years as a result of the deceptive hand of his father-in-law, who had placed the wrong daughter in bed with him (seriously, did the guy not know who he was making love to? ) this account is in Genesis 29. On and on it goes; as Jacob decides to leave his father-in-law’s land, more clever business tactics are taken (Genesis 30-31)…! This guy  has a mind and a half!

So now to the point of today’s thought….Jacob wrestled with God in prayer! He would not give up until he received an answer, a blessing. Here are Jacob’s word’s again, “But Jacob said, I will NOT let you go UNLESS you bless me.”

Now Jacob paid a physical price for his wrestling; With one touch his hip was knocked out of the field. Matthew Henry’s commentary puts it this way, “The angel put out Jacob’s thigh, to show him what he could do, and that it was with God he was wrestling with, for no man could disjoint his thigh with a touch.” God will always be God, great and powerful, and we must remember that as we approach the holy threshold of communion with God.

We are taught in scripture to pray without ceasing, (1Thess. 5:1), and that the prayer of a righteous person has GREAT POWER as it is working.” (Jas. 5:17) and in Romans 12:12, “BE CONSTANT in prayer.”

When is the last time you remained in prayer until you received an answer? You have heard the old saying that too often the saints give up praying before they receive an answer? When is the last time you were awake into the night as you poured out your heart to God, persistent in prayer?

Psalm 62:8, “Trust in Him at all times, O people; POUR OUT YOUR HEART BEFORE HIM; God is a refuge for us!”

Though Jacob KNEW he was heard, he needed the tangible reminder of Who he was wrestling with.

Do you think he knew he would receive?

Is that why he was so persistent? 

If God is for us, if His ear is inclined to us, if we are taught through HIS WORD to POUR OUT, and pray CONSTANTLY does that not then give us hope of  receiving answers?

Today if the Spirit of God is speaking to you…LISTEN!! Stop being a pansy, sucky, prayer warrior and start praying like you actually believe you are being heard.

DO NOT GIVE UP! His love is STEADFAST remember? He is FAITHFUL, remember?

He will answer your prayers, He IS GOD, and He will NEVER cease to be otherwise.

Will you trust Him?



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