Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | June 28, 2015

June 28, 2015 “The God-Wrestler”

“So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” He said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed.” (Genesis 32: 27-28)

Good Morning Prayer Partners and a blessed Lord’s Day to all of you!!

When I was in junior high school, one of my favorite summer activities was going to church camp. The camp I attended each summer was called “Camp Donegal.” Going there changed my life in a myriad of ways. It was at that camp where the first stirrings of God’s call on my life of ministry began. It was also at that camp that I first got the notion of learning to play the guitar. Another camper, who became a close friend of mine, and I formed a folk group which we called the “Donegal Trio”…the only “two-man trio” in the country at that or at any other time, I would wager! Later, we did actually did add a third member to the trio and we renamed the group the “Donegal Brothers.” Since those halcyon days of folk music popularity, I’ve continued to play the guitar, and those songs of a bygone era. At that camp, I was introduced to a new song by a folk singer named Dorothy Sifter. The song was called “One Man’s Hands”. The story behind the song was expressed in a verse that went  like this: “One man’s hands can’t tear a building down…two men’s hands cant tear a building down…but if two and two and fifty made a million, we’d see that day come round…we’d see that day come round.” It was a song about the power of cooperation, especially in doing the Lord’s work.  The following quote by an unknown writer expresses that thought when it comes to the cooperative power of prayer:

“If one Jacob can prevail over the angel, then what could several Jacobs accomplish?”

In the text I referenced today, Jacob grapples with a messenger of God and comes through. It is a test of perseverance, and Jacob prevails. He is given a new name…Israel…which literally means “God-wrestler”. The author of the quote I referenced suggests, rightly so, that if Jacob on his own could prevail over an angel, then many Christians united in prayer could accomplish even greater things. I agree. There is power in a single prayer prayed by one person. There is power multiplied as the people of God are of one accord. That was evidenced in the early church, and is still true today. Prayer warriors unite! Come together and unleash the mighty power of prayer as a body and see what God will do! Let’s pray!

Lord God; instruct us in the wise use of prayer. reveal to our hearts the power that exists as we stand in agreement with brothers and sisters before your Throne of Grace, as we lift up holy hands to you. May we come to understand that there is great power available to us as we join in prayer. Amen!

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