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God prevails over us that we may prevail in prayer

For the follower of Jesus, every circumstance in life is a God-ordained moment when God seeks to prevail over us so that we may prevail in prayer. This truth is beautifully illustrated in Genesis 32:24-32 where Jacob prevails in prayer with the angel of the Lord. Jacob had left home over two decades earlier after buying his brother Esau’s birthright and deceiving his father, Isaac, stealing the blessing that rightfully belonged to Esau. Now, over twenty years later, God had blessed him, and he was heading back home fearing the annihilation of his family by his brother Esau. In the this climactic moment of Jacob’s life, he spends the night wrestling with God. And it is here that the LORD takes Jacob back to his place of greatest failure in order to prevail over Jacob.

Incredibly, as the dawn is breaking and the angel of the Lord “saw that he had not prevailed against [Jacob], he touched the socket of his thigh; so the socket of Jacob’s thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him” (Gen 32:25). The angel of the Lord then demands that Jacob let go of him, but Jacob would not let go until the angel of the Lord blessed him. At that moment, the angel of the Lord asks Jacob the same question his father, Isaac, asked twenty years earlier, “What is your name?” (Gen 27:18). Why would the angel of the Lord do that? He was taking Jacob back to the place of his greatest failure–his greatest sin–not to hurt Jacob, but to expose his hard heart.

As Wesley Duewel states in Mighty Prevailing Prayer, “God was doing a transforming work in [Jacob’s] nature. He was being brought to the end of himself, but this position made him bold in faith.  A new Jacob prevails with God because God has prevailed over him.” The LORD prevailed over Jacob so that Jacob might prevail in prayer and gain the blessing to him, his entire family, and to you. For in Christ Jesus, the blessing and promises of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are all yours (Gal 3:29).

So what can we learn from this amazing event? No matter our circumstances, the LORD is seeking to prevail over you to expose your sin and take you to the the Cross of Jesus. That is the place He prevails over us. He will use our present circumstances to take us back to a place of failure to show us our need for brokenness and repentance. God spent over twenty years of Jacob’s life sovereignly setting up the circumstances for Jacob to come to the end of himself and see what a sinner he was in order to see the greatness of God’s grace. What circumstances are you now dealing with that God’s grace might prevail over you?

Jacob prevailed in prayer with the LORD because the LORD had prevailed over him. God calls us to prevail in prayer to gain answers to what is sought. God commands you and me to “draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb 4:16). God invites us to a wrestling match. We have a Great High Priest, Jesus, who is prevailing in prayer right now at the right hand of the Father (Heb 7:25). For what is your Advocate before the Father praying and calling you to pray into reality on earth as it in heaven? Don’t quit praying! The Son of God has prevailed over you through His death and resurrection in order that you might daily prevail in prayer before the Throne of Grace! He reigns by intercession. So do we (Rom 5:2, 17).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lost Key Found for the New Year: Prevailing Prayer

A couple months ago I went to our local gym and as I was doing my sit-ups, my house key dropped out of my pocket and ended up under some equipment. After running home, panting and about to die, I dug into my pant pocket and found no key. I was flustered and locked out of my own house!

This is what has happened to the Church in America.  We have put our confidence in our programs, pulpits and personalities and lost the key to personal and corporate revival. What is that lost key?

Hebrews 7:24-25 tell us our Lord Jesus has an eternal priesthood and “He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” It is an amazing reality that our Lord Jesus forever lives to pray and intercede for us. As Dan Ratchford says, “You are at the top of Jesus’ prayer list.” That is true for every believer.  But there is another amazing truth the Church has lost. I believe it is the key for personal and corporate revival.

The Apostle Paul in Ephesians 2 tells us that we once “dead in our trespasses and sins . . . sons of disobedience .  .  . by nature children of wrath.” But now because of God’s tender mercy and love toward us who were treasonous traitors, He has “made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:5-6). The reality for every true believer in Jesus is that we were crucified with Christ, risen with Christ, ascended with Christ and we are now spiritually present with Christ at the right hand of the Father. We have direct access to the Throne of God as we are seated with Christ at His right hand.  This is why we can “draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need (Heb 4:16). Not only that, the Holy Spirit is not just praying for us, but interceding through us as we pray (Rom 8:26). Incredible!

We can change the courses of our own lives, others’ lives, and even nations and people groups as we pray. Jesus is praying right now for us. The Holy Spirit is praying right now for us and through us. We have direct access to the Throne of Grace where we are constantly seated.  It is our rightful place in Jesus. So let’s take hold of this long, lost key in 2014 and prevail in pray for spiritual revival in our lives, in the Bride of Christ and the transformation of nations for the glory of Jesus.

James 5:17-18 reminds us that we are no different than Elijah. He found the key to changing the course of his own nation and nations around him through prevailing prayer. Let’s join Elijah and change the course of history through prevailing prayer at the right hand of the Throne of Grace in 2014!

A great book I am currently reading is Mighty Prevailing Prayer by Wesley L. Duewel.