Christianity 201

July 31, 2015

Wrestling With God in Prayer

Today we turn to author, pastor and evangelist Greg Laurie from his daily devotional blog.

The Ultimate Objective of Prayer

And he said, “Please, show me Your glory.”

When I was a new Christian, I always prayed for things for myself.

  • Lord, bless me.
  • Give this to me.
  • Provide this for me.

But as A. B. Simpson wrote,

Once it was the blessing, now it is the Lord;
once it was the feeling, now it is His Word;
once His gifts I wanted, now the Giver own;
once I sought for healing, now himself alone.1

As we start growing spiritually, we will start saying more often, “Lord, I just want You. I want more of You. I want to know You better. No matter where I go, everything is good as long as You go with me, and I go with You.” That is a mark of spiritual maturity.

Jacob, after years of conniving and scheming, met his match when the Lord Himself showed up and they had a wrestling match (which of course Jacob lost). It started out with Jacob trying to overpower what may have been an angel or perhaps the Lord Himself. In the end, Jacob was hanging on to Him. It started off with cunning, and it ended up with clinging. It began with resisting, and it turned into resting.

Wrestling with God in prayer doesn’t mean getting God to do what we want Him to do. It means that we are going to completely surrender to what He wants to do. That is the ultimate goal.

When Moses said to the Lord, “Please, show me Your glory,” he was saying, “God, I want to see You now. I want You to actually show Your face to me.”

That really is what prayer is all about. It is not about getting stuff from God. Prayer, when it reaches its ultimate objective, is getting God. It is God that you want—it’s closeness with Him.

 


1 We printed the complete text of this poem (and later it became a hymn) in a blog post here several months ago. Click to read Not the Benefits but Christ Himself. At the end of that post we added:

Amplifed Bible – Philippians 3:10,11 [For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope] That if possible I may attain to the [spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body].

Today’s blog post was shorter, so if you’d like to read one more, here is another devotional from Greg.

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