Blessed Persistence

Blessed Persistence


The Reverend Dr. Jonathan Chapman is celebrating a decade of being pastor of Westfield Church in Killingly, CT this October.

Scripture: Genesis 32:22-31, Luke 18:1-8 (NRSV)

Genesis 32:22-31: The same night he got up and took his two wives, his two maids, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. He took them and sent them across the stream, and likewise everything that he had. Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he struck him on the hip socket; and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, ‘Let me go, for the day is breaking.’ But Jacob said, ‘I will not let you go, unless you bless me.’ So he said to him, ‘What is your name?’ And he said, ‘Jacob.’ Then the man said, ‘You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed.’ Then Jacob asked him, ‘Please tell me your name.’ But he said, ‘Why is it that you ask my name?’ And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, ‘For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved.’ The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip.

 Luke 18:1-8: Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, ‘In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, “Grant me justice against my opponent.” For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, “Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.” ’ And the Lord said, ‘Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?’


Reflection: Blessed Persistence


These have been weary days, haven’t they? The pandemic carries on, we’re trying to rebuild our congregations in a world that is fundamentally different than it was just two years ago. We’ve struggled to make sense of the shifts we’ve been tasked with navigating. We want to keep going—we think we should keep going. But It’s so easy to think about what we wish was different and how life could be easier if we just gave up trying.  But Jesus tells us what we should do, and Jacob shows us. And both of them point us to this: persistence. Jacob wrestles with God till dawn, insisting on a blessing. Jesus teaches us that persistent and consistent prayer and faith will reap reward.  It’s exhausting, to be honest. This persistence can be taxing, and yet we can find ourselves, like Jacob, blessed in the process—and, like the ones crying out for justice, heard by God.  To do it, to be persistent, takes courage, resolve, and patience—resources in short supply these days. But in Christ we are renewed to carry on and wrestle with the difficult realities of the day, confident that when we hold each other and God in our hearts, we will be blessed.   


Almighty God, bless our persistence, and give us the courage, resolve, and patience to carry on. Amen. 

New Prayer Requests:

We ask churches and church leaders to join us in the following prayers either by sharing them during worship, printing them in bulletins, or sharing them in some other way. To make a prayer request, please contact Marlene Gasdia-Cochrane at

Prayers of Intercession:

  • For the people of Ukraine whose lives continue to be shattered by war.
  • For those grieving or suffering due to the ~34,100 gun violence deaths in the US this year
  • For the weary

Prayers of Joy and Thanksgiving:

  • For the folks who persist 

 This Week in History:

October 11, 2002 (20 years ago): Former President Jimmy Carter wins the Nobel Peace Prize “for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.” [History

“Study the past if you would define the future.”

Jon M. Chapman

The Reverend Dr. Jonathan Chapman is pastor of Westfield Church in Killingly, CT 

October 07, 2022
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