Jacob Becomes A Prince of God
Another example of desire in determined prayer is found in the life of Jacob. If you read his biography in Genesis, you will discover that he was a dreamer and a schemer who cheated his brother and deceived his father.
When his brother, Esau, threatened to kill him, Jacob fled. However, 20 years later Jacob had to return home with his wives and children. Esau, who had waited all those years for his revenge, was on the way to meet him with an army of 400 men.
Jacob was unarmed. This was the crisis of Jacob's life-and the time for his special prayer meeting with God.
Jacob went out that night and knelt and prayed, "Deliver me, I pray thee [0 God], from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, FOR I FEAR HIM, lest he come and slay us all, the mothers with the children.
But thou didst say, I will do you good, and make your descendants as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.'' Genesis 32:11, 12 (Revised Standard Version). Jacob reminded God of His promise. He literally prayed the promise of God.
Still trusting in his own shrewdness, however, Jacob prepared a lavish gift for Esau. Then he instructed his servants to go ahead of his caravan and present the gift to Esau as a peace offering.
The same night, he hurried his two wives, their two maids, his 11 children and all of his belongings across the Jabbok River.
When Jacob finally had a moment to himself, a stranger suddenly appeared in the darkness and began to wrestle with him. Neither opponent prevailed until the amazing stranger sprained Jacob's thigh.
But Jacob held on, realizing that he had come face to face with God.
This was Jacob's finest hour. It was the turning-point in his life. Jacob was determined to die with God because he knew for certain that he would die without Him! Although he was wounded and hurting, Jacob's desire for God was greater than his pain.
As the dawn approached, the angel of the Lord said, " ... Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he [Jacob] said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me." Genesis 32:26
The angel replied, ... What is thy name?
And he said, Jacob. And he [the angel] said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed." Genesis 32:26, 27
Jacob won the contest because he had a deep desire for a miracle from God. That very night God miraculously changed Esau's heart so that he forgave Jacob for all the wrongs he had done.
Today when you hear about the nation of Israel in the news, remember that this country is named after Jacob who was transformed when he became desperate for God's blessing.
God desires to instill this same principle of determination into your prayer life. HE WANTS YOU TO HANG ON LIKE JACOB. He wants you to be willing to be like Jesus when He sweat blood in prayer.
He wants you to become spiritually mature. Jesus taught the principle of tenaciousness in Matthew 11:12. ". . . the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence and the . . ."
Violent take it by Force