Praying Through God’s Word: Job 21-31

Job 21:1-34
Lord, we sense Job’s deep disappointment, as he says to his ‘comforters’, “How then will you comfort me with empty nothings? There is nothing left of your answers but falsehood” (Job 21:34). We thank You, Lord, that Job was looking beyond his ‘comforters’. He was looking to You: “He knows the way that I take; when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10). When life is hard, and it’s difficult to understand what’s going on, help us to hold on to Your promise: “Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles … ” (Isaiah 40:31).
Job 22:1-23:7
Lord, we read Job’s question: “Would He contend with me in the greatness of His power?” We also read his answer: “No; He would give heed to me” (Job 23:6). We thank You that You are not only the God of great power. You are also the God of great love. If You, Lord, were nothing but power, we would have good reason to be terrified of You. At the Cross of Jesus, we see how much You love us. In Jesus’ resurrection, we see Your power. It’s  not just the power to do strange and mysterious miracles. It’s the power of Your love – the love that lifts us when we’re down, the love that leads us on to a life, in which there will be “no more death or  mourning or crying or pain” (Revelation 21:4).
Job 23:8-24:5
Lord, life can be so confusing. We see Job, trusting in You – “he knows the way that I take … ” (Job 23:10). We also hear him saying, ” … the Almighty has terrified me … ” (Job 23:16-17). Where, Lord, do these negative thoughts come from? Do they come from You? No! They come from Satan! This is not “the fear of the Lord which is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 1:7). This is the fear that comes from Satan What are we to do when fear threatens to overwhelm us? What are we to do when fear threatens to destroy our trust in You? We look to You, Lord. You “have not given us a spirit of fear.” You’ve given us Your “Spirit of power and love.” You give us “a sound mind.” Help us, Lord, to keep on looking to You. May Your “perfect love cast out our fear” (2 Timothy 1:7; 1 John 4:18).
Job 25:1-27:6
Lord, we hear biting sarcasm in Job’s response to his ‘comforters’: “How you have helped him who has no power! How you have saved the arm that has no strength!” (Job 26:2). We hear Job’s searching question: “With whose help have you uttered words, and whose spirit has brought me forth from you?” (Job 26:4), and we pray, “Lord, help us to listen for the voice of Your love – and not to be deceived, discouraged, and distressed by words that come to us from Satan.”
Job 27:7-28:28
“The fear of the Lord – that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding” (Job 28:28). Give to us, Lord, the wisdom that is centred on Christ, the wisdom that receives “salvation through faith in Christ Jesus”, the wisdom that leads us to become “mature in Christ”, the wisdom that is Christlike, the wisdom that gives glory to Christ (1 Corinthians 1:30-31; 2 Timothy 3:15; Colossians 1:28; James 3:17).
Job 29:1-30:31
When, Lord, we start wondering, ‘Why are these bad things happening to us?’, help us to start thin king something else: “Why have You blessed us with so many good things?” (Job 30:27,31; Job 29:4-5). Help us, Lord, to thank You for Your good days, and to trust You in our bad days.
Job 31:1-40
“Job … was blameless and upright, one who feared God, and turned away from evil” (Job 1:1). Again and again, Lord, we fall far short of this ideal (Romans 3:23). How can our sins be forgiven? How can our guilt be removed? We thank You that “the blood of Jesus, Your Son, cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). This is more than having our sins forgiven. You, Lord, are leading us in the paths of righteousness. Create in us a deeper longing to become more like Jesus, our Saviour – and help us to give all the glory to You (Psalm 23:3; Psalm 51:10).

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