There are many men of God who believe that God does, though others deny this. Does the wrestling of Jacob teach us that God can oppose us until we make some things in our life right with God and men? (Google image, Jacob wrestling with God's angel)
It probably does. But if there is nothing between us and God or between us and our neighbor, does God still at times, for His sovereign purpose, resist us for the time being, even though we are praying for what is in according with His highest will?
James I. Packer writes, referring to Bishop J. C. Ryle, John Owen, and John Calvin, "These authors also showed me at the practical level what P. T. Forsyth later theologised for me ...that God may actually resist us when we pray in order that we in turn may resist and overcome His resistance and so be led to deeper dependence on Him and greater enrichment from Him at the end of the day." ( David Hanes, ed., My Push of Prayer, [West Sussex, Eng.: Henry E. Walter, 1981], p. 59).
Spurgeon, Stibbes, Finney, and Moody explain prevailing prayer as militant faith that "prevails over what seems to God's permissive will so that His ultimate will may be brought closer to fulfillment." (Bloesch, Struggle of Prayer, p. 63 ).
In wrestling prayer there is a "taking hold of God," a seizing His mighty hand and refusing to let go. Just as in the in the Old Testament times the last refuge of one seeking mercy was to seize and cling to the horns on the four corners of the altar of the temple, so we in prayer go beyond the temple to lay hold of God himself.
The literal Hebrew of Isaiah 27:5 if, "Let them take hold of me." Isaiah laments in Isaiah 64:7, "No one calls on your name or strives to lay hole of you."
These references refer to the laying hold of the horns of the altar, as it were, even laying hold of God Himself. This is what wrestling prayer does.
Our human language is so weak. How can we describe this holy intensity in Prayer? To God it is not irreverent for us to come boldly to the throne of grace (Heb. 4:16).
The Greek word means fearless, bold speaking to God. Holy boldness in prayer, heart hunger that produces vehemence of holy desire—such is precious in the sight of God.
God is in the truest sense wrestling with the powers of darkness through us. He is agonizing over man's sin. He has sent His Spirit to indwell us, fill us, and make us mighty in prayer—indeed, to pray through us His own holy groanings.
God wants to set the captives free. Perhaps the only way He can do so is to teach us holy wrestlings until we are so strong we can wrestle with and defeat and rob Satan in holy prayer warfare.
~ ~ ~ ~Used by permission of the author and Duewel Literature Trust, Inc., Greenwood, Indiana, (with Jean's impressions added)