It is of God's grace and love that He has ordained that His most faithful intercessors wrestle in prayer. (Google image, Wrestling prayer).
1. To keep us realize our dependence upon God. The more deeply we sense our own impotence and helplessness, the more fully we can cast ourselves upon God. Humility is always the first step to God's grace and power.
2. To help us share Christ's heart. Christ is the great Wrestler. He wrestled in prayer with the powers of darkness while on earth. The day of wrestling is not over until Satan is bound and cast out.
Now Christ must wrestle through us, but He on the throne must share His heartbeat with us so we can see the world, the lost, and the opposing demonic forces from His perspective.
Wrestling helps us share His vision, His hatred of sin, and His holy determination to oust Satan.
3. To teach us spiritual alertness. Paul recognized that Satan constantly tries to deceive and outwit us. We must beware of his schemes (2 Cor. 2:11). He tries to sift us like wheat (Luke 22:31).
He masquerades as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14). He prowls around like a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8-9). Wrestling in prayer teaches us to "be alert and always keep on praying" (Eph. 6:18). Just as a wrestler must be alert to every move his opponent makes, wrestling teaches us to keep awake and alert for God.
4. To teach us spiritual passion and vehemence. The more we wrestle in prayer, the more deeply the Holy Spirit is able to fire us with His passion and His holy but vehement opposition to Satan and all Satan's deceits, strategies, and forces.
5. To teach us the secrets of triumphant overcoming. We learn to triumph by the Spirit's helping us triumph. This is no textbook mock battle. We learn the deceits of Satan by confronting them.
We learn the use and power of our spiritual weapons by using them. We learn spiritual warfare by confronting the powers of darkness in prayer. Victory requires skill as well as might. The Spirit teaches us spiritual skill as we wrestle.
6. To Strength our faith. Faith is made purer and stronger by our overcoming the resistance we face in prayer and the obstacles to the answers of prayer. Faith is strengthened by exercise. We must feed on the Word and live in the Spirit, but only as we put faith in practice do we move from theoretical faith to faith as God's means of victory.
Faith seems mightiest in the simple trust of the new believer and in the mature, militant faith of the battle-tested warrior. Faith must become more than a confidence in Jesus.
It must become a strong shield in battle and a mighty spiritual weapon of attack. Like a spiritual muscle, the more we use faith, the more it becomes tough and powerful.
7. To enable us to amass prayer resources. Intensive prayer and, in particular, prayer wrestling and prayer warfare can be amassed as if it were a bank reserve or a spiritual treasure.
Just as an army needs to amass weapons, munitions, and reserves before an all-out attack, so God prepares for spiritual breakthrough. We see this law of prayer at work even with angels.
Daniel prayed and Gabriel fought with the demons representing Satan for three weeks before God amassed the divine power of prayer and had Michael join Gabriel in the spiritual warfare (Dan. 10:2-3, 12-13).
This whole incident is a mystery, but it is clearly revealed in the Word. The disciples failed because they had not been praying enough. They had not been amassing sufficient prayer (Mark 9:29).
~ ~ ~ ~Used by permission of the author and Duewel Literature Trust, Inc., Greenwood, Indiana, (with Jean's impressions added)