Scripture Reading: Colossian 4:12-13
The blessings of God are released into our lives through prayer. Before the birth of Jacob, God had prophesied that the blessing would be his and not his brother’s (Gen 25:23). But it was not until Jacob took it in a prayer-wrestling match with God that it really became his. He laid hold of the promise of God through a night of prayer.
Sometimes the blessings of God are released in our lives through persistent prayer. An author pointed out that the story of Jacob’s wrestle with God gives us a picture of wrestling with a seemingly hostile God in prayer. As another example of this, he mentions the story of the Syrophoenician woman who came to Jesus to get healing for her daughter (Mark 7). Jesus tells her that “it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” Does Jesus actually want to send the woman away? What is going on here? “Like a child trying to push against the hand of a parent, the parent gives only enough resistance to test the resolve of the child. So, God resists us in prayer, to see our resolve in His goodness.”
The third lesson is that the blessings of God are not obtained by our struggles. At the end of this wrestling match, God asks Jacob for his name. So God gives him a new name, “Israel”, which speaks of God giving the blessing, not Jacob wresting it from himself. The blessing you are searching for is not going to come from more striving or deceit. It comes by submitting. Winning the blessing only comes by losing to God.
God is Himself the blessing that we seek. God did not end the encounter with Jacob by assuring him that everything would be fine. He simply says, “Go to Esau. I am with you.” There is no promise that he will live through the next day. Jacob got a blessing that was greater than earthly blessing: the restoration of relationship. Whatever you are searching for, I can guarantee you that it cannot replace God. Sometimes God withholds blessings you are seeking in order to teach you that, a relationship with Him is better than any of His blessings. God may not promise you that you will get the job or the husband or the healing you desire. But rejoice that He promises Himself. Sometimes He decides to change your identity rather than solving the problem. He changes you from a “Jacob” to an “Israel.” So, you can say, even in the midst of the shadow of death, that God is with you, and that is enough.
Acts 8:26-40; Ps 66:8-9.16-17.20; Accl Jn 6:51; Gosp Jn:6:44-51 WEEKDAY OF EASTER
Prayer Points:
1. O Lord God of power and might, teach me to pray, relying not on myself but on You .
2. Father, I actually appreciate my weakness and my lack of understanding, please help me by the power of Your Spirit, to be fervent in prayer and obedient to Your will for me.
3. Father, hear and answer my prayer for all who are sick especially (mention a name). Grant them healing for Your name’s sake.
Exercise: Share this reflection with someone today.
Meditation: 1 Tim. 2:1.