Prayer, Plain and Simple

“I will not let you go unless you bless me!” (Genesis 32:26)

Prayer is“Chutzpah.” How audacious, to think that specks of stardust living on a pebble of stardust in a sidetrack galaxy on the backwaters of the Universe can mutter and mumble and grab the attention of the Master Creator! But we can. And he listens, too, and adjusts his plans to accommodate our appeals. Expecting that takes “Chutzpah.”

The Gospels are full of audacity: Blind men who yell and won’t be silenced, a woman who grabs Jesus’ prayer tassel, a leper who breaks social protocol, a Gentile woman who won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. God must love audacious persistence because every one of these desperate people get their happy ending. In Luke 11 and Luke 18 Jesus relays two parables with the same moral: “desperate, bold, persistent prayers get answers.” “Chutzpah.”

Jacob understood this. He had to, to slap a half-Nelson on the Angel of the Lord and hold him hostage for a blessing. It’s a bizarre story, but God honored the man’s courage with a name change from Jacob (which means “trickster”) to Israel which means “wrestles with God and wins.” Imagine that – God wrestles, if we dare!

So beware of creeping Islam. The word “Islam” means “submit” and Muslims see themselves as slaves of a slave-owner God. There is no true relationship. The Judeo-Christian tradition fueled by Jacob’s wild encounter sees God as a covenant partner, even a Father who loves us enough to let us wrestle… if we will dare grab some audacity and engage with him.

Prayer is a contact sport.

Engage with God right now. Dare a bit of “Chutzpah.” Risk a little passion, an “I’m going to keep knocking, Sir, and not quit” posture.

Take up one of the pressing needs in your family, relationships, work or business. Maybe you’ve been bringing this to God daily for years. Well and good. Come again, with a little attitude… wrapped in love, respect and gratitude.

He’s a father who loves to wrestle! Take him up on it, and he’ll take you down!

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