Monday, January 12, 2009

On the Mat

Over the holidays I played in my first boxing match. Was it ever tiring. My nephew had received a Wii for Christmas and I was attempting to play some of his games. I couldn't believe how exhausting the boxing was to me physically. I just couldn't give up, hold back or let down unless I wanted my opponent to overpower me and win.

This is just a small taste of what it must have been like for Jacob to wrestle with God in prayer. It is said that nothing requires more vigour and unceasing exhertion than wrestling. Have you been there? Have you ever strived with God in prayer over a concern on your heart? At times prayer can be such hard work, especially when our desires or distresses are greater than our dialect. Our hearts mean more than our tongues could ever say. Prayer is hard work.

Sometimes I find myself saying to a friend, "Well, you know that I'll be praying", yet it is said with a sense of surrender as if it is the lesser work, wishing there was so much more I could do. Prayer is the greatest work. It is never the work of the defeated, but the warrior. It is bravely going before God's throne of grace and often wordlessly crying out to God or interceding for the needs of another. Prayer places you on the battlefield.

God's Word tells us that the fervant prayer is the effectual prayer. Prayer brings results. Jacob said to the Lord in Genesis 32:26, "I will not let you go unless you bless me." His wrestling did not shake his faith or silence his prayer.

Does God always answer our prayer the way we desire? No. However, He always answers and His answers are always best.

Jacob had already demonstrated that he was a man of prayer. Genesis 32:9-12 provides such a beautiful pattern for prayer. Jacob thanks the Lord for previous, undeserved favours; he humbly confesses his unworthiness; he expresses his fear and despair; he surrenders to the Lord and rests his hope in Him. Things weren't looking good as he prepared to meet his brother Esau, but Jacob recalls God's promises and places his confidence in God's Word. "The best we can say to God in prayer is what He has said to us" (Author unknown).

Do you need prayer today? Is there a concern on your heart that needs wrestling? Wrestling is defined as the act of engaging in close hand-to-hand combat. One of the techniques in wrestling is 'holding'. Today, hold on to Jesus, because He's holding on to you.

If there is a prayer concern you would like me to pray over with you and for you, please leave it in the comment section below or e-mail me. I will wrestle with God on your behalf.



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4 comments:

God's girl said...

Thanks for the analogies today. The word "wrestling" brings a whole new perspective to a prayer life. I have a prayer request on my post today. Thank you and have a wonderful day!

Heaven

Marilyn in Mississippi said...

Joy,

I can't begin to tell you how much it has meant to me during the past several months knowing you have been "wrestling with God" on my account! You are a true friend and I "thank my God on my remembrance of you"!

Marilyn

Carol said...

I already know that you are praying! I can feel it! A rough night last night but a better evening today...so far. Back to the dr. with the kids tomorrow and will be pushing for more tests for Katie. Thank you for being on your knees for us. You are loved!

Carol.

Joy in The Truth (Sharon Sloan) said...

Hi, Joy.
I love this post, and I love our "surrendering the apron" post on your other blog. :)

Recently I said that word to the Lord "wrestle". I felt like I was wrestling with Him. And it's a bit uncomfortable. :) And, thankfully, He always wins.

I didn't know the Wii had wrestling...that must be hard.

Oh, and yes...in response to your comment. Over the scrap booking retreat weekend, they played Anita Renfroe's DVD including the Creative Memories part....SO FUNNY! We were howling! And the part about grocery line dividers. She is so funny! Laughing so hard gave us our second wind and we stayed up very late on Saturday!

Hugs.