Turning Corners

Jacob, trying to throw off the stifling yoke of his father-in-law, Laban, flees with his wives, children and possessions. But leaving Laban brings him into the path of Esau, his brother, from whom he stole the birthright. Pinched between two enemies, Jacob prepares for the worst, then heads off by himself to pray. Dawn reveals Jacob wrestling with the angel, then marked by a limp. He next meets Esau, and avoids war.

Samuel heads to the home of Jesse, on a mission from God to anoint a king. Moved by the word of God in his heart, he anoints the youngest son, David. It took another decade and a half before David was finally installed as King of Israel.

Daniel, in Persia, sends aloft a prayer for understanding. Immediately, God sends his messenger. But the messenger is opposed by demons, and it is three weeks before Daniel receives his answer.

Word comes to Jesus of Lazarus’ illness. He waits long enough for Lazarus to die. Four days later, Lazarus emerges from the tomb.

We wrestle not against flesh and blood, Paul tells us. Our lives as Christians are constantly immersed in realities we do not perceive with our senses. All around us is an immaterial reality we do not see, which our prayers influence and which influences our prayers.

Continue reading “Turning Corners”