2nd February 2020

Wrestling in Prayer

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber.”
Psalm 121:1-3 (NIV UK)

Don’t you hate it when a vending machine refuses to give you what you paid for? Your snack is just dangling there—almost taunting you. Confession: I’ve been known practically to wrestle a vending machine into compliance. Likewise, don’t you hate it when you are praying for something and you don’t get what you want? Again, I’ve also been known to wrestle in prayer, trying to get God to see things my way. But God is not a vending machine, and prayer is not the money you put in to get what you want. But wrestling in prayer still works. May I share a personal story?

My mother was in hospital with pneumonia and lung complications due to previous cancer radiation treatments. It was hard watching Mum fight to get better as complications piled up. Infection was added to the pneumonia, and antibiotics seemed unable to stop it. Even though we were told the damage to her lungs was permanent, I urged mum to fight, and then I prayed and prayed and prayed. A few days later mum lost the battle. Although my prayer-wrestling didn’t provide me the answer I wanted, it did bring me closer to God. I was able to find rest and peace knowing that Jesus was there—holding my mother’s hands and my hands through it all.

Scripture is clear that God does not intend to withhold good things from his children. But Scripture is also clear that the best thing for us is knowing God for who he is. Prayer is one of the ways the Lord gives himself to us to be known. Persistent prayer is like wrestling with that vending machine. Only, in our wrestling we come to know that God is not some cold, arbitrary machine trying to get our money. We come to find that he is our loving Father whose chief aim is to give himself to us in a face-to-face relationship. As we wrestle with him in prayer, we grow to trust him with our most tender wounds and our deepest desires. See above to note how the prayer in Psalm 121 is grounded in that special kind of knowing of the Lord

If you ever feel like giving up on prayer, keep wrestling. More often than you realise, you will find you get more than you ask for.

Prayer
Gracious Father, it is in prayer that we come as close as a human being can to his God. But it’s not natural; it seems unnatural. Father, help us to see beyond our limitations and to grow in faith as we pray to you. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen

Presented by Jeff Broadnax
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The Day by Day each Sunday is taken from ‘Speaking of Life,’ (https://www.gci.org/videos/media-speaking-of-life/ ), a public resource video on the USA website of Grace Communion International.

About the Presenter:
Jeff Broadnax is a GCI Elder in Grace Communion International in the USA and serves as National Coordinator of GCI Generation Ministries.

Local Congregation:
You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.church under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Contact:
Email: admin@daybyday.org.uk