Where in your life has prayer made the biggest difference? Yes, prayer changes things. But God holds interest beyond things. He has his eye—and his heart—on you.
Jacob (whose name means “tripper-upper” or “trickster”) deceived his brother, Esau. Years later he thought he masterminded a safe reunion with Esau, who had threatened to kill him.
The night before he was to meet Esau, a mysterious man confronted Jacob and wrestled him. They tussled until morning. Neither gave up. “Then the man said, ‘Let me go, for it is daybreak.’ But Jacob replied, ‘I will not let you go unless you bless me’” (Genesis 32:26).
This wrestling changed Jacob, like wrestling in prayer changes you. Jacob realized he was wrestling with God. Instead of trickery, Jacob clung to God’s promise and blessing. Anxiety about Esau’s anger gave way to confidence in the Lord’s gracious help. He limped away from that wrestling match with a handicap in his hip, but in this defeat he found the victory of denying himself and depending on God.
Pray for God to help our nation, but be ready for God to change you, call you to more active citizenship, and challenge you to contribute in new ways. Answers to prayer are often found not outside of us, but in us. Through persistent wrestling with God declare, “I will not let you go.” And he’ll promise, “I won’t let you go either.”