Grace and Peace on this 7th day of 21 days of Prayer. In this first week, I hope you have made it a point to read the exhortation to pray but have also MADE the time to actually pray. Here's why that's so important: In Genesis 32: 24, it reads, "And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day." Many of you are either in the midst of a struggle or we all know we will have one. Whatever the test may be, like Jacob, the wrestle can often last a long time. Jacob wrestled all night until day break.
OVERCOME STRUGGLES WITH PRAYER
The point? We know he got tired but what he was seeking was so important that he didn't quit! That's what this 21 days is for. To train us to be disciplined to pray without ceasing. Prayer is one way you fight back.
Genesis 32:30 goes on to say, "And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved." In other words, Jacob prevailed, overcame his struggle, and got the answer he needed. When the wrestle ended, he was a changed man because he realized he had been wrestling with God and his victory was to have seen Him face to face! That's the other goal that these 21 days of Prayer have for you. Sometimes we're wrestling more with yielding to God's will for our lives than with a problem. Think about that for a moment. What are you REALLY struggling with? Have you had a face to face encounter with God? So here's the message ~ sincere prayer can bring you face to face with God, if you press in.
If you’re struggling with prayer:
Find a place to pray that does not have distractions.
Acknowledge your weakness to God. Welcome the Holy Spirit to influence your life.
Confess your sins. You will not experience God’s presence while you are practicing sin.
Ask God to show you through his Word how to understand other people so that you can live in peace with others.
Develop an attitude of gratitude to overcome your struggle with prayer.
Say this Prayer: Father in heaven, I come today because I struggle to pray. Like Jacob, there are days I need courage to face my fears. I acknowledge my weaknesses and fears. I welcome you, Holy Spirit, to influence my life. As a dear pants after a water brook, so does my soul thirst for your presence. I repent of my sins (confess all of your sins, name them to God). God, I agree with how you feel about sin and its ineffectiveness in my life. I surrender to you so that my life is aligned with your Word. Change me like you changed Jacob and gave him a new name. Guide my heart to hear Your voice and shut down the voice of the enemy. I break down the walls of distractions that would keep me from your presence. I break down the walls of disruptions that would keep me from your presence. I break down the walls of excuses that would forbid my encounters with you. I build a new wall, a prayer firewall. Set a flame to it. Let your presence be in my prayer firewall to inspire my words to speak to others in love; to inspire my words to demonstrate gratitude; and, to inspire my daily prayer life to be a face to face encounter with You. Like Jacob, I will not let go until you bless me. Inspire my hope. Season my faith. In Jesus's name, Amen!
~Inspiring Hope, Seasoning Faith, Pastor Sean