“In the womb he grasped his brother’s heel; as a man he struggled with God. He struggled with the angel and overcame him; he wept and begged for his favor. He found him at Bethel and talked with him there—-the Lord God Almighty.” (Hosea12:3–5)
Both the earnestness and the contentiousness of Jacob’s nature are seen in his struggle with the angel. God’s patience is clearly seen in that He allowed the struggle to continue.
Prayer is an earnest struggle with God. Prayer is not a fight against God. It is a dialogue in which we are determined to know God’s direction for our life.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, Jacob had struggled with God in both accounts in Genesis and also Hosea. Jacob struggled with God, and yet lived. Beloved, God respected Jacob’s earnestness and sincerity. He still does. Abba we come before You this day, with the same attitude and doggedness or persistence if You will, because we both love and respect You. Our worship is a part of the reflection of You, but it is primarily our day to day interactions with others, that truly reflects the relationship with You, that speaks much louder than words ever could. Bless us, Abba, as we live our lives honoring our relationship with You and attempt to reveal You to all we come into contact with. All this we pray in Jesus’ precious name. Amen.
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Only one life, ‘twill soon be past—-Only what’s done for Christ will last.”
“To you O Lord, I call, for fire has devoured the open pastures and flames have burned up all the trees of the field.” (Joel1:19)
Not much is known about Joel or even when he lived. What is known, is that he suffered along with the people of Judah. There had been locust destruction before, but not to this degree. On top of that, they were in the midst of a severe drought. The people for whatever reason, rarely listen to prophetic counsel, but in this case they listed to Joel. He called for them to repent and there was widespread response of people openly repenting of their sins. God forgave them. He removed the plague of locusts and sent rain upon the parched land. The fields brought forth a good harvest and once again joy reigned in Judah.
“Prayer, Sincerity”: (Isaiah 1:10-17)
Israel had become satisfied with outward observance without inner character. God hates sham and will not hear prayer as mere form, if the character of the one praying betrays God’s purposes. When the one praying is a hypocrite, then to pray is to sin. To do evil and destroy other people does not qualify you you to go on to worship and other prayers, of praise and gratitude. Sin puts a barrier between people and God, making prayer worship impossible until the sin barrier is removed through repentance and forgiveness. People must stop being wicked, causing others to suffer, if they want to be counted among God’s people. Clear enough?
Second Thought of the Day:
“Jesus went out as usual to the mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, ‘Pray that you will not fall into temptation. ‘ He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done. An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly and his seat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. When he rose from prayer and went back tot he disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow.” (Luke22:39-45)
No prayer in Jesus’ life shows the perfection of His humanity better than the Gethsemane prayer. He would not have been human if He had not shrunk from the impending cross. He made no attempt to argue His case. He did not suggest another way. Rather, He simply prayed for God’s direction and will, noting his desire for another path, of possible.
The intensity of the moment is indicated in the sweating of blood, hemaidrosis, a phenomenon occurring in intense feeling when the dilation of blood vessels pressing against the sweat glands caused the vessels to burst and the blood seeps through the seat glands. Jesus searched the cosmic mind of God for some other possibility. There was no other way, so he committed Himself to the Father’s will. Prayer voices our human desires but seeks God’s perfect will and guidance above all. Clear?