Prevailing in PrayerBro. David Chancellor
1/31/1999 11:00 AM
Genesis 32:6-12, 22-30
Jacob was fearful and in a real battle. God had sent him back to the place where he grew up. Jacob knew there were things to face with Esau for what he'd done. Jacob hadn't brought anything with which to defend himself. His prayer to God was this.. "You told me to go here. I know whatever trouble there might be is of my own making. You promised me good, but right now it doesn't look too promising." Why would we "wrestle with God" in prayer? We don't have to drag anything out of God. When we come to God in prayer, there are things we'd like to see changed. Jacob wrestled with a man - we, even in secret prayer, can wrestle with a man (self). We may have to wrestle with a man, but we're holding on to get a hold of God - to get the blessing. Wrestle the man out of the way until you get hold of God and get the blessing. Jacob didn't just settle for the answer, but contended until he had the blessing.
There are spirits that oppose (wickedness, the powers of darkness). These are things we need to oppose when we go in prayer. God's taking care of things - he has it under control. We don't always see it like it's gonna turn out.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5
Verse 5 could describe the wrestling we do in prayer. "I'm thinking this is what's going to happen..." Our imagination can make us absolutely scared to death. When we come to God in prayer, we need to claim God's promise - in spite of imagined catastrophes. God can help us to figure things out. Every thought needs to come in line to how God wants things to be. We need to stay within God's will. We want to bring every thought in subjection to Christ. We want it to work out in the way God would have us to be. We want to receive what God has for us.
2 Kings 2:7-13
Elisha was sticking close to Elijah - he was not to be turned aside, although other interests had been pointed to. Elisha wanted twice as much of God as what Elijah had. Sometimes we ask for "hard things"... there will be things come to distract, but we need to hold on for what we are praying for. When God makes a promise, latch on to it and hold out for it. Don't let the distraction take your victory. Elisha received that that he desired because he pursued it with all he had. We must not be turned aside from our prayer. (This should be how we pray - when we want God's spirit on us.) We don't want to be distracted from that which God has promised to provide.
Some of our troubles are because we have gone our own way (in the life of sin). Yet, God was interested in us. The reason we don't receive more is not on God's part, but overcoming the obstacles we've allowed or put in our own path.
Draw nigh to God. The reason we were not nigh to start with was that we had gone our own way. There are things we will have to wrestle and overcome to draw nigh to God. There are hindrances we have put in the way. God is not hard or unapproachable. He invites us to come. There are things that have come that will make it seem difficult and hard. We need to overcome those things and pursue it in such a way that we get a firm hold on God. There is a work that we encounter in prayer. That is getting obstacles out of the way - things we have allowed to accumulate. We can receive God's blessings too.