In Genesis 32, we find Jacob in a very intense situation. After 20 years of being separated from his brother Esau, a reunion is now imminent. Jacob, the supplanter, had stripped his older brother Esau of his birthright and blessing from their father Isaac. He is anticipating the worst (which never happened by the way).
After sending his wives and children ahead to greet Esau with a generous gift, no doubt an attempt to soften Esau’s heart towards him, Jacob stays behind and begins to wrestle all night in prayer with God. Scripture says that Jacob prevailed, but in reality, it was God Who prevailed.
After wrestling all night, God smote Jacob’s thigh, causing him to walk with a limp for the rest of his life. From that day on, every time Jacob took a step the limp would remind him of that encounter with God.
Precious child of God, we all face intense situations or decisions in life. Many times our anticipated fears never come to pass. Like Jacob, we walk with a limp because of our indwelling sin. Thus, it is only when we realize our utter helpless condition that we find ourselves looking to the cross of Jesus and find the grace and mercy of God.
Jacob called the place where he met with The Lord, Peniel, which means, the face of God or facing God. Our times of prayer become our own Peniel in life, beloved. That is where meet God face to face. Through Christ, we are accepted and have access to The Father. But our goal in prayer should never be that we prevail, but that God’s will come to pass. When we “lose” when wrestling with God in prayer, we win. Genesis 32; Heb 4.14-16; Hosea 11.4,5