Wrestling with God

Today’s blog entry is from Genesis, about Jacob wrestling with God.

Genesis 32:22-32

22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”

But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

27 The man asked him, “What is your name?”

“Jacob,” he answered.

28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”

29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”

But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.

30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”

31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon.

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One problem that we might face in our prayer life is that it’s too easy. We don’t put enough effort in our prayers. We see God as a vending machine, just drop in a prayer request like a coin and expect his answer to pop out to us like a drink dispensed by the machine.

When we pray for something and God does not give us what we want, we give up almost immediately.

But God wants us to persevere. He wants us to keep praying in accordance to His will, being patient and persevering, until we receive what we want. He wants us to wrestle with Him, like Jacob did.

God wants to exert great effort in our prayers, seeking him with all our heart and all our strength. He wants us to wrestle with Him like Jacob, all through the night until we get the blessing we desire. God wants us to engage with Him passionately.

Christ also set the example of intense prayer in Gethsemane, when He asked God to spare Him the pain of going to the Cross. He prayed so fervently that He started sweating drops of blood.

Let’s learn to cling to God fervently, holding onto Him until He grants us His blessing.