“So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestle with him till daybreak.” (Genesis32:24)
Both the earnestness and contentiousness of Jacob’s nature are seen in his struggle with the angel. God’s patience is seen in that He allowed the struggle to continue.
Prayer is an earnest struggle with God. Prayer is not a fight against God. Rather, it is a dialogue in which we are determined to know God’s direction for our lives.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, we know that this story is true, for there are similar accounts whereby people have sought you out with perseverance and certainly with sincerity, to seek our what Your will is for us in situations of our lives, and in this case, where Jacob was seeking Your purpose for him. In Your compassion, You allowed him to continue his struggle and we see it in our own lives, where we struggle for similar guidance and direction for our own lives. It is in Your Son’s name that we pray for Your answer. Amen.
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Opposition——our cue to pray, not quit!”
“Then the Israelites, all the people, went up to Bethel, and there they sat weeping before the Lord. They fasted that day until evening and presented burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to the Lord. And the Israelites inquire of the Lord.” (Judges20:26-27)
Going to public worship is not necessarily prayer. Public worship can turn into self-serving ceremony without God’s presence. Humble service of God and the oppressed He protects is a necessary partner to true prayer.
Prayer is seeking God’s presence. Prayer results in true, meaningful life. God want to be personally present with us. He is not present just because we make loud claims He is. We must be faithful, obedient servants for Him to be present, blessing us.
“Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not raid on the land fro three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” (James5:17–18)
Beloved we should never stand in awe of other people who have power in prayer. We shout imitate their earnestness. Our prayers can be as powerful and effective as the next persons.
I’m reminded of the Pharisee who stood on the highest step in the town, shouting his prayer and thanking God that he was not like the man below him, who was barely audible in his prayer when he said, “Forgive me Lord for I am a sinner.” This speaks volumes to our Lord for this mane was truly ashamed of his sins, while the Pharisee was speaking many words, so that he could draw attention of others around him.
SECOND THOUGHT of the DAY:
“`While all the people were listening, Jesus to his disciples, ‘Beware of the teachers of he law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely.’” (Luke20:45-47)
Jesus questioned the motives of certain scribes and teachers of the law and loved to call attention to themselves. Status seekers make poor teachers of divine revelation. Jesus denounced the insincere show before people, not the length of the prayers.
He Himself prayed all night. Whether public or private, prayer is conversation with God, not a display of piety before large groups of people. When Jesus prayed, he would go off by himself, usually, but we might choose space in a home office or a closet or in a place, that others would not readily come into.