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GRABBING A HOLD OF GOD

September 6, 2011 Leave a comment

“But Jacob said ‘I will not let you go unless You bless me” Genesis 32: 22-32

There are a lot of ways people pray; eyes closed, eyes open, mouth open, mouth closed, hands up, hands down, hands together, hands apart, hands folded, kneeling, sitting, standing, lying on our front, lying on our back, lying in the pew. There are silent prayers, noisy prayers, preachy prayers, liturgical prayers, and sentence prayers. Whatever the words whatever the way, prayers are our attempt to get God’s attention, as if His attention was not already fixed upon us.

In the story of Jacob wrestling with God, in the book of Genesis, we see another way to pray, although it may not fit into the conventional forms of prayer you and I may use. But make no mistake Jacob is praying. His hands were not folded in reverence, but his arms were wrapped around the presence of God. His knees weren’t bent in pious devotion, but his legs were poised to obtain the advantage over his wrestling opponent. And through the grunts of physical exertion in holding on to God with all his might, Jacob declares he will not let him go“…unless You bless me!”

Leave it to Jacob to be so bold as to wrestle with God. The audacity of it all, to actually demand a blessing from the creator of the universe! But my imagination quickens at the idea of the thrill of grabbing a hold of God, and hanging on for dear life. Wow!

Perhaps this story is in the Bible as an invitation for us to do that very thing in our prayer life with God. To strip away the convention of what we know about prayer and go toe to toe with Him who knows us best and loves us the most. It invites us to not keep God at a safe, arm’s length distance. It encourages us to have the audacity to draw Him as close we can into our lives, every time we go to prayer. It offers us the opportunity to ask or to even demand from God a blessing.

But there is a warning that comes with the Jacob way of praying. We will come away from the encounter different, changed. For Jacob, after his experience with the Lord, change meant he would never walk the same again, and he had a new name, Israel. Our prayers should have the expectation that they are going to be life changing for us or for somebody else.

When Jesus says;  “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. (Matt. 7:7-8)

He is letting us know that God wants to be involved with every part of our lives. He wants to bless us. He wants to give us our hearts desire. He wants to be with us. We may not wrestle with God the way Jacob did, but we can seek a deeper intimacy with Him in prayer that lets us grab ahold of Him, and hopefully never let Him go. Believe it or not God wants us to grab a hold of Him and never let go.

Blessings, Pastor Joel

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