Wrestling with God

Reflecting on Genesis 32:22-32 Charles Simeon asks this very penetrating question:

What resemblance do we bear to Jacob in this particular? I ask not whether we have ever
spent a whole night in prayer, but whether we have ever wrestled with God at all; and
whether, on the contrary, our prayers have not for the most part been cold, formal
hypocritical; and whether we have not by the very mode of offering our prayers rather
mocked and insulted God, than presented to him any acceptable sacrifice? Say whether there
be not too much reason for that complaint, “There is no one who calls upon Your name, that
stirs up himself to lay hold of You” (Isa. 64:7)? Dear brethren, I know nothing which so
strongly marks our departure from God as this. To an earthly friend we can go, and tell our
complaints, till we have even wearied him with them; and in the prosecution of earthly things
we can put forth all the energy of our minds: but when we go to God in prayer, we are restricted, and have scarcely a word to say; and our thoughts rove to the very ends of the
earth. The prophet Hosea well describes this: “They have not cried unto me with their heart.
They return, but not to the Most High: they are like a deceitful bow,” which, when it
promises to send the arrow to the mark, causes it to fall at our very feet. O let us not fancy
that we are of the true children of God, while we so little resemble Him whose name we bear,
and bear as a memorial of persistence in prayer. The character of the true child of God ever
has been, and ever will continue to be, that they are “a people near unto their God” (Ps.
73:27-28; 148:14).

2 thoughts on “Wrestling with God

  1. If you can’t open your heart to God in prayer, then why pray? I sometimes think my prayers to God are too familiar, trite or involve superficial matters…but when the “rubber meets the road” God is interested in the hairs on our heads so why wouldn’t he be interested in our details in prayer?

  2. Thank you for your comment. Richard Sibbes in his work “The Bruised Reed” encourages us with praying openly to God by reminding us that Jesus is our Mediator – Shall our sins discourage us, when he appears there only for sinners? Are you bruised? Be of good comfort, he calls you. Conceal not your wounds, open all before him and take not Satan’s counsel. Go to Christ, although trembling, as the poor woman who said, ‘If I may but touch his garment’ (Matt. 9:21). We shall be healed and have a gracious answer. Go boldly to God in our flesh; he is flesh of our flesh, and bone of our bone for this reason, that we might go boldly to him. Never fear to go to God, since we have such a Mediator with him, who is not only our friend but our brother and husband. ~ The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes – See more at: http://puritanpaperbacks.com/category/richard-sibbes/#sthash.jRb2Iy3n.dpuf

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