kneeling fisherman

kneeling fisherman

Monday, February 22, 2016

Prayer = Wrestling with God

Invitatory:  “In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them.”  II Cor 5.19

Morning prayer:  Heavenly Father, you sent your Son to us and laid on him the burden of the cross that we might see and know the glory of your holy love.  Grant that our faith in him may not be shaken by adversity or daunted by the threat of it, but that we may ever follow steadfastly the way that leads to perfect fellowship with him, and so with you; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.  [Charles M. Jacobs in Paul Z. Strodach, Collects and Prayers (Philadelphia: Board of Publications of the United Lutheran Church in America; 19350, p.166.

Bible reading for the day:  Genesis 32.22-32 (note: Jacob is fearful as he anticipates the reunion with his brother Esau, whom he cheated 20 years earlier. On the eve of this reunion, Jacob has sent hundreds of livestock ahead as a gift to appease his brother while he passes the night alone, camped near the River Jabbok.)
22 The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok.23 He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had. 24 And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. 25 When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob's hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27 And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.”28 Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel[1],for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.”29 Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. 30 So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” 31 The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket, because he touched the socket of Jacob's hip on the sinew of the thigh.

Prayer (based on TRIP** method)Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for the holy limp of faith. Your delight is not in the strength of man, but in those who fear you. Deliver me and my congregation from religion because such a fake thing does not engage you. Wrestle us… all night long… and teach us the humble persistence of prayer that will not let go of you… until we are each changed and blessed by you. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen.

Thy will be done…
What does this mean?
The good and gracious will of God is done indeed without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it will also be done among us.
How is this done?
God's will is done when he hinders and destroys every evil design and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful nature that would keep us from hallowing his name and prevent the coming of his kingdom. And God’s will is done when he strengthens us and keeps us steadfast in his Word and in faith to the end of our earthly lives. This is his good and gracious will. (from The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther ©Reclaim Resources, Sola Publishing, 2011)

Benediction:  The peace of God which surpasses all understanding keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Amen.  Phil 4.7

[1] Isra’el means “one who strives, wrestles with God”

*There are many patterns for devotions.  This pattern has been followed by God’s people for centuries.

**The T.R.I.P. approach to prayer is based on the way Martin Luther prayed and taught others to pray.  It was later developed by Walter and Ingrid Trobisch and then adapted by Mount Carmel Ministries (Alexandria, MN  The method is founded on scripture and easy to remember:
T: thanksgiving
                                                          R: regret (repentance)
                                                          I: intercession (asking God to take a specific action)
                                                          P: plan or purpose
Reading a biblical text and then applying this method gives one a sound, simple way to form one’s prayers...not to mention that it helps one learn how to faithfully reflect on God’s Word and talk to God.  

No comments:

Post a Comment