What do wrestling and prayer have in common?

wrestlingWhat is prayer?

Epaphras is described as ‘always wrestling in prayer’ (Ephesians 4.12).

Stop and think about that for a minute. How many of us would naturally think of wrestling to describe what prayer can be like?

What does it mean to wrestle in prayer?

Wrestling involves effort. Wrestling is pretty full on, there is nothing bland or sedate about it. If you enter a wrestling ring and aren’t willing to engage fully then you are going to get hurt.

When we pray is it something we put effort into or is it more like reading a shopping list?

Wrestling involves emotion. Every competitor wants to win and they psyche themselves up and as a result emotions run high.

When we pray, do we get emotional? Do we pray with passion or do we think we will convince God with our rationality?

Wrestling involves aggression. I don’t really need to explain this do I!

When we pray, do we get angry? When we see evils in the world do we tell God that we do not want to see those things in his world?

When you wrestle, sometimes you want to give up. If you start to believe your opponent is better than you then fear creeps in and we want to give up. When we pray, we pray to God who is more powerful than anything, so why do we sometimes feel so powerless as we pray? Let’s start believing in who God really is as we pray!

Have we ever lots heart in prayer? When we pray, start with God and focus on who he is. Let God and his power give you confidence to continue when you feel pressured to stop.

Wrestling involves movement but do most people pray sitting down? If you struggle to pray, why not try walking around as you do so. You could try a prayer walk (pray with your eyes open though) and as you walk around, talk with God about what you see.

When we pray, do we just sit still? If so why? Could we pray in different situations such as when we wash up or hoover or perhaps when we are waiting for traffic lights to change?

Wrestling doesn’t involve speaking (there is a lot of grunting, but I hope that is optional). There are examples of prayers without words in the Bible such as the woman who reached out to touch Jesus’ robe. She was healed even though she didn’t ask with words. Whilst words are ideal for prayer, God already knows what we are going to say before we say it. If you can’t put it into words, it doesn’t mean that you can’t pray about it.

When we pray do we just use words? How else could we pray?

What does it mean to wrestle in prayer? Feel free to comment below.

Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. (Ephesians 4.12)

Epaphras prayed that people would stand firm in the will of God. As we work out what God wants us to do (there is plenty in the Bible that shows us), may God give us the courage to live in a way that pleases him.

Epaphras prayed that people would be mature in their faith. Are we reading the Bible and learning from other Christians? How much effort do we put into maturing in our faith? Anyone can grow old, but it takes effort to mature.

Epaphras prayed that people would be fully assured. Are you sure that God loves you? If you are trusting in Jesus as your Lord and Saviour do you feel assured of your salvation? God wants us to be sure of where we stand with him.

Will you pray today?

How much will it look like wrestling?

 

 

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About honestaboutmyfaith

Hi, my name is Graeme and I’m married to a very patient wife. We have 4 children, 2 rabbits, a terrapin (and not a lot of peace and quiet!). I’m a Baptist Minister who is especially interested in making Church accessible to people who have no church background and also in how we disciple people in order to equip them to live out their faith in the 21st Century. I am also a member of the Eastern Baptist Association's Council with responsibility for Mission Strategy.
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