Beliefnet
Prayer, Plain and Simple

So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God.…and won.” (Genesis 32:24-28)

Jacob had just escaped an intense scrape, meeting up with his former employer and father-in-law who positively wanted to pulverize him. Then, to make matters worse, Jacob was poised, the very next day, to meet up with Enemy #1: his brother Esau. Jacob, the ol’ dirty, rotten, sneaky fellow had cheated his brother Esau out of everything he held dear.

Sandwiched between these two conflicts, he was left alone for the night. Or was he?

Someone approaches in the dark. Jacob has so many enemies, this must surely be one of them. Down they go in hand-to-hand combat! Through the night they wrestle, a perfect match. Deadlock. Until the One shows his unfair advantage and skillfully, supernaturally dislocates Jacob’s hip. It’s over. He says, “You have wrestled with God.” The game changed. His name changed.

Are you so uptight today that you might be fighting your Source of peace and your Source of victory? Jacob’s new name was given: Israel, which means “God Fights.” Perhaps it’s time to cease striving and know that God is truly God… He will fight your battles for you…if you let go and let him.

Father,

I have been shadow boxing everything that moves. My fears have overwhelmed me. I’ve been tormented by the demons of my past, and I’ve not trusted you to forgive and redeem. I surrender! I’m down for the count, bowing to your great strength and love. Forgive my striving! Forgive my manipulating! Forgive my sin and distrust! I receive your grace now. Fight for me, Lord. Have at the spiritual enemies of my soul. You have rendered me weak and crippled from the fight I have initiated. Now, in my weakness, make me strong in your strength.

Amen
P.S. And now please bless me, and change my name from “Scoundrel” to “God Can Do Anything!”

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