1. What is one situation  or crisis – you’ve experienced that changed your life and left a mark?



Starting with grasping for position in his mother’s womb, Jacob struggled with the results of his dishonesty and scheming throughout his life. In fact, his name means “deceiver.” In this story, he is now going home. He knows that his brother Esau, whose birthright he stole, is coming with 400 men. So, Jacob sent his family ahead with gifts for Esau. According to Hebrew scholars, this may be the first account of a human praying at night. It all leads to this moment of wrestling with God.


God’s Story

Read Genesis 32: 22-32.


Finding My Story in God’s Story

2. Put yourself in Jacob’s place. You’ve just sent your family, servants, and all your possessions ahead. It is night. You are alone. How are you feeling as you step into this scene?

  • Fear–What am I getting into?
  • Excitement–It’s about time I deal with this crap.
  • Determination–If I can get through this, I can deal with Esau.
  • Approach/Avoidance–I’m here, but I don’t want to be here.
  • Other __________.


3. What do you think Jacob hopes to get out of this wrestling bout?

    1. To see if God is actually going to fulfill his promise.
    2. To receive assurance that God is with him.
    3. To get clarity about God’s will.
    4. To find out who he’s fighting.
    5. Other __________.


4. If you were God, why would you have injured Jacob’s hip?

    1. So Jacob could never forget this night.
    2. To remind Jacob that he always needs God’s help.
    3. To keep Jacob from ignoring those who are hurting.
    4. It’s penance for deceiving people all his life.
    5. I probably wouldn’t have injured his hip.
    6. Other _________.


5. What wound do you carry that can take you to a dark, lonely place?

If you can’t think of one for yourself, right now, what wound have you seen in a close family member/friend that takes them to a lonely place?

  1. A relationship issue.
  2. A workplace issue.
  3. Deep pain from my childhood.
  4. Aware that I didn’t do something I should have.
  5. Other __________.


 How do you (they) usually get out of that dark, lonely place? Or do you (they)?



6. If your life was a wrestling match and you could tag-team, what friend or relative would you bring with you to this match?


7. What stage name would you choose to wrestle with to reflect your life at this point?

  1. Mr. Deceit.
  2. Superman.
  3. Mr. Unlovable.
  4. Mr. Wonderful.
  5. Mr. Missing-in-action.
  6. Other __________.


8. After the night of struggle, Jacob is given a new name — “Israel,” “because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.”

Once YOUR match is settled, what would you hope your new name would be?

  1. Lover.
  2. Forgiver.
  3. Cheerleader.
  4. Encourager.
  5. Other __________.


9. How can the others in this group pray for you and support you this week, as you deal with what you have been sharing?