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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: F.E. Marsh :: Readings 301-350 (Peace - Service)

F.E. Marsh :: 318. Prevailing Prayer

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  1. Prevailing prayer pleads the promises (Gen. 32:9). Trapp says:—”Promises must be prayed over. God loves to be burdened with, and to be importuned in His own words; to be sued upon His own bond. Prayer is putting the promises into suit. Such prayers will be nigh the Lord day and night (1 Kings 8:59). He can as little deny them as deny Himself.”
  2. Prevailing prayer confesses its unworthiness (Gen. 32:10). We do not receive blessing because of our confession, but we are not blest without it.
  3. Prevailing prayer asks definitely (Gen. 32:11). Jacob knew what he wanted, and prayed accordingly. He had offended and robbed his brother, and now he seeks deliverance from his righteous anger. The Lord often over-rules our blunders to our benefit and His own glory. Jacob not only prays for himself, but also for those who are near and dear to him.
  4. Prevailing prayer is to be alone with God (Gen. 32:24). The words of Christ are “Pray in secret” (Matt. 6:6). Christ is our Example in this, for He went to the mountain to pray (Matt. 14:23). Praying in secret we shall get revelations of His glory, as Daniel did at the riverside (Dan. 8:16); we shall have the consciousness of the presence of Christ, as John had on the Isle of Patmos (Rev. 1); we shall be commissioned, as Peter was, when he was on the housetop at Joppa (Acts 10:9); we shall meet the Rebekahs of blessing, as Isaac did, when meditating in the field (Gen. 24:63); and we shall receive blessing, as Jacob 999:
  5. Prevailing prayer is intensely earnest. Trapp well remarks, in speaking of the angel wrestling with Jacob: “There wrestled a man with him; in a proper combat, by might and sleight; to the raising of dust and causing of sweat, as the word importeth. This strife was not only corporeal, but spiritual; as well as by the force of his faith, as strength of body. ’He prevaileth,’ saith the prophet (Hosea 12:4), by prayers and tears. Our Saviour also prayed Himself into ‘an agony’ (Luke 22:44); and we are bidden to ’strive in prayer’ (Rom. 15:30); Nehemiah prayed himself pale (Neh. 2:2); Daniel prayed himself ‘sick’ (Dan. 8:27). Hannah prayed, striving with such an unusual motion of her lips, that old Eli, looking upon her, thought her drunk (1 Sam. 1:13). Elijah puts his head betwixt his knees, as straining every spring of heart in prayer (1 Kings 18:42). Every sound is not music, so neither is every uttering of petitions to God a prayer. It is not the labour of the lips, but the travail of the heart. Common beggary is the easiest and poorest trade; but this beggary, as it is the richest so it is the hardest.”
  6. Prevailing prayer is seen in a clinging faith (Gen. 32:26). Jacob got no blessing while wrestling, but the wrestling led to the blessing. The angel touched his thigh, and then he could wrestle no more, but he held on the tighter, and would not let the angel go till he received a blessing from him. Three boys each gave a definition of faith, which definitions illustrate the tenacity of faith. The first boy said, “It was taking hold of Christ;” the second, “keeping hold;” and the third, “not letting go.”
  7. Prevailing prayer is rewarded (Gen. 32:28-30). 1. He got his name changed from Jacob, the supplanter, to Israel, the prince of God. 2. He received definite blessing from God. 3. He was a testimony for God ever afterwards in his halting gait.
317. Preservation ← Prior Section
319. Pride Next Section →

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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