After Jacob had married Leah and Rachel, he stayed in their homeland and built his flock and possessions. But after a while he felt led to return to his homeland. One night, on the journey home, he sent his family and possessions ahead and stayed behind. All through the night he wrestled with a man (or as identified in Hosea 12:4, an angel). As the dawn was coming the man damaged Jacob’s hip to try to get free and then asked to be released. But Jacob refused to release the man until he blessed Jacob. The man then changed his name from Jacob, which means “deceiver”, to Israel, which means “he struggles with God.” Then the man blessed Israel and left. Jacob then limped for the rest of his life.
This story is a picture of how we should approach God with our needs. Jacob needed a blessing and he wouldn’t let go till he got it. We need to boldly go to God and ask for our needs. We need to continue to pursue our need until it is meet. God wants to meet all of our needs but we need to demonstrate our passion and faith to Him. We must always remember to ask in keeping with God’s will and His word, but if you feel your request is God’s will for your life, keep praying!
Jacob walked away from his encounter with God with a new name and a limp. Both clear signs that he had been changed. The experience of whole heartedly seeking God will change you in amazing and undeniable ways. So have faith, ”wrestle” with God to receive His promises and expect to be forever changed!
Discuss some things your family could be praying for. As a family choose one thing to pray for and pray about it together at meals or bedtime, whenever you pray together.