Summary: Believers are in a process of "evolution"- what I call the process of transformation from glory to glory. The Lord designs and expects that the Church be dynamic in experience and operations. Abram to Abraham, Jacob to Israel. One of the ways of practica
JACOB TO ISRAEL: WRESTLING BOUT OF DESTINY
PROFILES OF STRIKING BIBLE PRAYERS
1. JABEZ. The Prayer of Jabez seems to have worked at "the snap of the fingers". There is no record of the time and place where this prayer took place. “And Jabez was more honorable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bore him with sorrow.
“And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested. 1Ch 4: 9, 10.
However the overwhelming magnitude of the answers to this prayer has over the time tricked many believers into thinking that it was as simple as it was written.
Comparing scripture with scripture we find that it couldn’t have been at the snap of the fingers!
2. ELIJAH. "Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed EARNESTLY that it would not rain; and it did not rain for three years and six months. And he prayed AGAIN, and heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit”. "The effectual FERVENT prayer of a righteous man avails much”. Jam. 5:17, 16
3. JESUS. Jesus prayed and His sweat was like drops of blood! "And being in agony, He (Jesus) prayed more EARNESTLY, then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground" Lk. 22:44. This is how it was with the One who probably needed not to pray!
The “simplicity” of the Prayer of Jabez has almost made the believers of today forget about the Prayer of Jacob. Both are necessary for emphasis if our destinies will respond to divine intentions.
4. JACOB. In Gen. 32 we have the account of a great wrestling bout of Jacob that translated him to Israel. Jacob had all the time been having it cheap by trickery and deceit. For all this time his destiny was enshrouded in obscurity and controversy. He was a vagabond and a servant of others constantly living in fear and not sure of his footsteps. He was a shadow of his best. He has always won with man but not with God. In the language of the Syrophoenician woman, he was like a dog eating the crumbs from the bread of his master, holding the shadow and not the substance of Gods’ covenant with him and his fathers.
This is the position of many believers in the church now. Many are satisfied with the crumbs, with just the expression of the blessing of Jacob the man and not Israel the prince. They forget that there is a place in God reserved for the importunate, the "stubborn-faith" seekers of God. They don’t understand that there is a place in God where your Abram can become Abraham, where Jacob can be transformed to Israel. God, the God of Israel, is the Sea of unfathomable Depth.
Believers of today have forgotten that Jacob was the beginning, not the end. To sit at the Bus Stop of Jacob and believe we have arrived is to consciously limit ourselves and be comfortable with the average. Even Jacob understood that snatching the birthright from Esau was not enough to get him to where he ought to be. He had to wrestle. He had to fight. This aspect of our Christian experience is unarguably absent in the present-day Church setting.
Adult-babies are being raised and recruited into God’s Army daily that except for the assurance of the Head of the Church Himself it would have just being enough to raise up our hands in submission to whatever is thrown at us by the enemy and the world. Christianity has been so cheapened to the point that any inconvenience or hardship experienced on the journey is termed lack of faith. Dance and festivities," celebration" and leisure convocations are taking the place of fervent and consistent prayers in our private and corporate lives. If our Jacob will become Israel, then there must be a meeting point with the Lord, where we thrust others out of sight and embrace. We may have all the tricks and strategies with men, like Jacob, but unless we prevail with God we have no relevance in the future. While others "sleep", may God keep us awake for the wrestling bout that safeguards our destinies!
Prayer is a mystery. The simplicity of one man’s prayer afforded him a tremendous result. His prayer was summarized in two verses of the scriptures. Another man’s prayer however took him through the night and involved a physical wrestling that resulted in a physical handicap but with an eternal blessing.
We insist that the two prayers must be considered and emphasized if believers of today will get the kind of results Jabez and Jacob got. The prayer of Jabez is important as it stresses the simplicity of faith in the ability and faithfulness of God that answers prayers. The Prayer of Jacobs is also necessary as it teaches us perseverance and insistence in our bid to see that the plan and eternal purpose of God for our lives are established.