Scripture Reading: Genesis 32:24-30
Welcome to today’s devotional. Our reflection today is anchored on perseverance in prayer. To preserve means never to give up, it means to be unyielding, patient, focus, it means to endure to the end. According to St. Catherine of Siena, “Nothing great is ever achieved without much endurance. ” The encounter between Jacob and the angel in our today’s reading demonstrates the prevailing power of perseverance in prayer. Commenting on this combat between Jacob and the angel, Prophet Hosea asserts in Hosea 12:4 “He strove with the angel and prevailed, he wept and sought his favor; he met him at Bethel, and there he spoke with him.” We are told by the Prophet (Hosea 12:4) how Jacob wrestled: he wept and made supplication; prayers and tears were his weapons. This shows that it was not only a corporal combat but also a spiritual wrestling in prayer. In this spiritual wrestling in prayer, Jacob kept his ground. Though the struggle continued for long, but the angel did not prevail. Although the encounter with the angel brought pain to Jacob, but this did not discourage him, it did not shake his faith, nor silence his prayer. May be to test Jacob constancy and perseverance the angel mildly requested Jacob to let him go, but against the request of the angel, Jacob persisted in his prayer. “I will not let you go, except you bless me” (Verse 26). He did not want to wrestle all night for nothing, so humbly he resolved he would have a blessing. For Jacob: it was better to have all his bones put out of the joints than go away without one blessing. It is the fervent prayer that is the effectual prayer. At the end, the angel granted his prayer request by putting a perpetual mark of honour upon Jacob, by changing his name.
Dear friends, it was perseverance in prayer that won the victory of the spiritual battle for Jacob. It was this faith motivating and remarkable encounter between Jacob and an angel that inspired a song writer to sing; “don’t give up, it’s not over, when you give up, then it’s over… even when you fail, it’s not over.” Child of God, why have you given up on that prayer? Where is your perseverance in prayer? Where is your unwavering faith? Why have you given up on God? Why arc you discouraged to pray? How come you now think that God does not answer prayers? Parents who have lost hope in praying for the conversion of their children, have you forgotten the story of St. Monica? Dear friends in Christ, I do not know how long you have been asking the Lord for a blessing. The message for you today is never give up in your prayer.
Habakkuk 2:3 says; “If it seems to tarry, wait for it; it will surely come …” Jesus says in Luke 18:1, “… men need to pray always and not to lose heart.” Child of God, never give up in your prayers, persevere in your faith, for God will definitely answer you, in the most favourable way. Let us imitate great men and women who through persevering faith and prayer obtained their requests. Remember this, Hebrews 6:12, “So that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those w ho through faith and patience inherit the promises.” Let us conclude today’s reflection with the words of St. John Paul II, “I plead with you; never, ever give up on hope, never doubt, never tire and never become discouraged. Be not afraid. ” I pray that the LORD will remember you and lift up your soul. I pray that the Lord will lift you out of the miry clay and set your feet on the solid Rock-Jesus. Amen
- Thank God for his words of hope and encouragement today.
- Ask God to forgive you for the times you were not patient with Him.
- Pray for the grace of perseverance in prayer and unwavering faith for yourselves and all Daily Strength Users.
- Pray for those who have given up on God and are discouraged to pray, that the Holy Spirit would rekindle in them the fire of God’s Love.
- Pray with Psalm 40:1 -3 (seriously and meditatively).
Exercise: Share today message with someone.
Memory Verse: Psalm 30:5