“Then He said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go, unless you bless me.”
Oh this verse comes at the end of Genesis 32, in the middle of this story about how Jacob is alone and wrestling with God. Now there’s all kinds of details when it comes to interpretation of this passage that we don’t have time to get into now. But the picture is a picture of prayer as wrestling with God. As asking God for his blessing. And the whole interaction, oh I wish we could dive into all the details here. But the whole interaction revolves around Jacob honestly coming before God, humbly coming before God, God even says to him, “What’s your name?” And Jacob says, “Well my name’s Jacob, which means ‘A deceiver’.” There’s confession here. But there is a picture also of Jacob holding onto God and just saying, “God, please, please bless me!”
We see Jacob wrestling with God in Genesis 32. Might we boldly seek God’s face, crying out to Him day and night.
And in God giving us this picture, we learn that it is good to wrestle with God in prayer. Oh, this feels almost inappropriate to say, but this is the picture we have, of seeking God, asking God, calling out to God for blessing. For his provision. For his help. And God answering when we do. It’s a picture we end up seeing throughout the rest of scripture as people seek God in prayer, and ask him, plead for blessing. Plead for his grace. Plead for his help in this way or that way. Plead for his provision. And God faithfully hears the cries of his children. And he answers according to his word and his will.
And so as we think about prayer, I just want to encourage you. Be bold in asking God for his help, and his provision, and his blessing. Obviously trust in God. That’s why humility is so key in this. We don’t go to God and say, “We know better than you, so do this.” We go to God saying, “You know infinitely better than us, but we’re asking for your grace in this way. We’re asking for your help in this way. We’re asking you for your provision this way.” And this is why it’s so important that we pray the word, because when we’re praying according to God’s word, we’re asking God to be faithful to his word, to provide according to his word, to help us according to his word, he promises to answer those prayers. He promises to bless us according to his word. He promises to help us according to his word. So we pray, “God, help us, bless us.”
I pray for this in my own life, I pray for this for all who are listening to this right now. God, please, help us to carry out your commands. Help us to obey your word. Please bless us. Lead us. Guide us. Direct us, according to your word, by your spirit, to experience life as you’ve called us to live it. Life as you’ve designed us to live it. God, we want to experience the fullness of your blessing, we want to experience the fullness of your goodness, we want to know you more. We want to love you more. We want to enjoy you more. We want to grow in our understanding of you. We want to grow into the image of Jesus more and more and more. We want to love like you love. We want to care for others like you care for us. God, we want to share the Gospel, we want to lead people to Jesus. God, we want to honor you in our homes, we want to honor you in our work.
So God, we ask for your help toward all these ends, God. For you blessing toward all these ends, we ask and we’re gonna keep on asking. We’re seeking you, we’re gonna keep on seeking you, and we’re gonna trust that you will bless us, you will lead us, you will guide us, you will direct us, you will help us in all these ways, as we ask. God, we praise you for the privilege of communion with you. Dare I say, the opportunity to wrestle with you, and to receive blessing from your hand as we seek your face. God, thank you. Thank you for the privilege of communion with you like this. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
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