Wrestling and prayers

“The function of prayer is not to influence God,
but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.”

Søren Kierkegaard

(falls in the Agawa Canyon Park / Algoma District, Ontario, Canada / Julie Cook / 2017)

I mentioned the other day that I was blessed with friends who are very wise…
Well as good fortune would have it, I had another wise friend has come along,
offering her own insightful guidance…
by actually offering a bit of wisdom in sharing.

She has passed along a link to A Painted Prayerbook by Jan Richardson
with the day’s thoughts resting on “The Wrestling Is Where the Bessing Begins:
(excerpt Aug 2, 2017)

Jacob is no stranger to encountering God in a dark, betwixt place.
It has been just four chapters and a lifetime since that night when,
fleeing for his life, he was visited by an angel-drenched dream that
assured him of God’s presence on his path.
Now, in this latest nighttime meeting,
Jacob learns that sometimes when the angel meets us in the wilderness,
it makes us work for a blessing.
This seems to be one of the ways the angels choose to minister to us,
knowing there are times when a good struggle comes as one of those
strange comforts of the wilderness.
Sometimes we need not to rest but to wrestle,
to be stretched to our limits,
to reach deep into the reserves we did not know we had.


And like Jacob, I wrestle.

I wrestle with this thing I claim as life.
My life.

I wrestle with my perception, my wants and my presumed,
as well as intended, outcomes…
I then wrestle with God’s intention for my life…
for you see, those two thoughts are not always the same…
His verses mine.

And now I’m finding myself prematurely and uncomfortably pushed away from
resting undisturbed somewhere, while just hoping to sit under a shade tree.
I sit trying to avoid the heat of day…the prickly weight that pushes down on my
head from not only what is mine, but what is all around me.
I long to avoid the unbearable heat generated by my own life’s struggles,
as well as the heated percolation found in the greater world at large.

And here I now realize that I must wrest the blessing which is to be found in
all of this…
Because as you see, we sometimes actually have to work for a blessing.

And yet…
in that one little fact…
that being that I will often times be uncomfortable and even struggle while
becoming exasperated to the point of near failure….
yet still….
I find that within the wrestling…resides pieces of deep spiritual comfort….

We are traveling today the 10 plus hours down to West Palm Beach, to south Florida.
Martha’s memorial service is Saturday morning, at her beloved little Episcopal

I will greatly appreciate your prayers for our travels.
It’s a long drive in uncharted waters so knowing that a Heavenly host
travels with us is indeed a comfort and a blessing…
one not wrestled over I trust….

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8

23 comments on “Wrestling and prayers

  1. atimetoshare.me says:

    Beautiful post, my friend. Your Aunt Martha must have made a great impact on your life. That gift will be passed on through you. She has found the eternal rest. We’re still praying for it.

  2. atimetoshare.me says:

    Safe travels!!

  3. Rebecca Berschwinger says:

    Beautiful, beautiful post. Saying prayers for comfort at this time and traveling mercies.

  4. Tricia says:

    What a wonderfully proficient and powerful post Julie. There are some things about our souls, our own honest evaluations about ourselves, that can only be discovered through suffering and the tender hearted guidance of God, who can always be found in dire circumstances. Prayers to you and your family as you work through the loss of your Aunt Martha.

  5. I have found good Soren’s quote to be true.

    When I pray, my tortured mind rises to the divine.

  6. Julie, our prayers are lifted for you today, that you may receive blessings along the way; profitable wrestling, where through it is the resting. Know His presence with you. 🙂

  7. Lynda says:

    I’m late posting this comment but prayers have been in my heart all day and I left your family in the prayers of intention at Martyrs Shrine in Midland, Ontario today. It is an amazing place where the Jesuits and the First Nations people worshipped together many years ago. Thousands of people go each weekend but during the week it is fairly quiet. Your family will be remembered in prayer. Blessings on your day tomorrow as you celebrate the life of your dear Aunt Martha!

  8. What a splendid post Julie! I know you will miss your Aunt Martha. But remember you’ll carry her with you always in your heart. She is part of the fabric of your being and that can’t be taken away. Love, N 🙂 ❤

  9. SLIMJIM says:

    Praying for your travels.

  10. Sarah says:

    Sorry I missed this prayer request. I was on a trip back to the UK to see my folks. I hope your trip went well.
    I hope you find the fruit of all your wrestling some time soon. 🙂

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