“I know it is fun to wrestle. A nice pile-drive to the face; or a punch to the face; but you cannot do it because it is in the Bible not to wrestle your neighbor.” — Nacho, speaking to the children of the parish
Now, I’m not typically one to be dismissive of another man’s exegesis, but I’ve got a bone to pick with this parish priest who moonlights as a masked luchador. To the best of my knowledge, the scriptures are completely silent about wrestling with your neighbor.
However, the apostle Paul was a big fan of wrestling in prayer for your neighbor:
Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. (Colossians 4:12)
I know a thing or two about wrestling. I’m especially knowledgeable about getting pinned, as I was one of the most pitiful wrestlers to set foot in the squared circle. I also know that the sport is physically demanding like no other. Though a match lasts no more than six minutes, every bit of your strength must be exerted against your opponent. If you let up, even for a moment, you end up flat on your back.
What would it be like to wrestle in prayer for someone? To call out to God with every fiber of your being? Though I regularly pray for people, that kind of intensity is something of a mystery. Chances are that I need to grow in my faith in the Lord’s ability and willingness to intervene. Maybe my casual approach reveals a lack of love for others.
Do you wrestle in prayer? Can you offer suggestions from your experience to help me be more like Epaphras, who was always wrestling in prayer for the church at Colossae?