Are you currently unemployed and seeking a job? Well, many people are in the same situation as you are and the Bible has many scriptures about this subject.
The first thing you must know is that every job that is available belongs to God. He is really the One who will be giving you the job.
Psalm 24:1 “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;”
Sometimes the job that you are looking for may not be the one the Lord has in mind for you. Therefore, you need to remain open minded about all the opportunities that come your way and be prayerful about all offers.
Proverbs 16:9 “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.”
Be sure that whatever job you accept it is one that is legal and honest. If you have questions or suspicions about it then it is probably not a good choice for you.
Proverbs 11:1 “ The LORD detests dishonest scales,but accurate weights find favor with him.”
The Lord’s plan is for you to provide for your family so there should be absolutely no question in your mind that it is His will for you to find employment
1 Timothy 5:8 “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
The Bible also says that if you don’t work you don’t eat. This should be your go to scripture in your prayer time for employment.
2 Thessalonians 3:10 “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.”
Here are some other bible verses for job seekers for you to read and meditate on:
Psalm 34:10: The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.
Psalm 75:6: For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.
Psalm 113:5,7-8: Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high, He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill; That he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people.
Phil 4:13,19: I can do all things through Christ which strenghteneth me, But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Proverbs 6:6–8 ” Go to the ant, O sluggard, observe her ways and be wise, which, having no chief, officer or ruler, prepares her food in the summer and gathers her provision in the harvest.”
Proverbs 22:7 “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.”
Romans 13:8 “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.”
Proverbs 21:20″In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.”
Proverbs 16:3 “Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established.”
Psalm 20:4 “May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.”
Here is a prayer for you based on the scriptures above.
Lord God in heaven I come to you humbly asking you to guide me to employment. This is not hard for you to do because the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. You are Jehovah Jireh the God who provides and I ask you to provide for me by bringing me employment. I am only interested in the place that is honest and trustworthy as I know this would be pleasing to you. Lord I ask you to show me the areas in my life where I may need to confess my sins so that I can bring them before you. I don’t want anything to stand in the way of my answered prayers because I know it is Your will for me to be employed. (Take a few minutes and confess all the sins that come to you mind now) Show me the areas where I need to improve how I handle Your money so that I may honor You by doing so. I pray Lord that when I receive this job, I will tithe to the church or ministry that You will call to my mind the amount which You will put in my heart. Lord I know that You are able to supply my needs according to your glorious riches in Christ Jesus. I pray that You would bless me and enlarge my territory! I pray that you open the doors and give me the wisdom to know where to start looking. Bring the resources I need to prepare myself for the interviews and favor everywhere I go. In Jesus Name. AMEN.
Now you may need to update your resume and get it online. Here are a few resources that may help you with Resume Writing Tips , Some Advice About Interviewing, Resource About Salary, and a Jobs Search Engine that will search jobs all over the world and email them to you daily.
These are just a few resources so if you know of other resources that would be helpful to others, please Leave a Reply so that we may all benefit from your knowledge as well.
Here’s another scripture that we need you to keep in mind as you are going through the process of waiting for God to bring you that job:
Ecclesiastes 11:6 New International Version (NIV)
Sow your seed in the morning,
and at evening let your hands not be idle,for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.
Keep busy and get yourself out there because you never know what God will use to bring you that employment.
God bless you and keep you and cause His face to shine upon you and give you peace.
Here is a Prayer For God’s Favor
Scriptures about the Favor of God
Prayer of Faith
Bible Verse About Faith
Inspiring Bible Verses
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The following list of Bible prayers is from the Dake Annotated Reference Bible, King James Version (Used by Permission – Dake Publishing). Dake found 176 prayers in the Old Testament and 46 in the New Testament. They include only actual worded prayers, not references to prayer. All statements as “he prayed, he entreated the Lord, he called upon the name of the Lord,” etc., are not prayers; they merely mention that certain people prayed.
Six Prayers in Genesis:
1. Abraham for an heir (40 words; Gen 15:2-3). Answered because God had promised (Gen 21:1-8).
2. Abraham for Ishmael to be his heir (7 words; Gen 17:18). Unanswered because it was not in harmony with God’s word and plan.
3. Abraham for Sodom to be spared if 10 persons were righteous (176 words; Gen 18:23-32). Unanswered because 10 righteous persons weren’t found (Gen 19:24).
4. Eliezer, steward of Abraham, for a bride for Isaac (110 words; Gen 24:12-14). Answered because it was according to God’s word (Gen 12:1-3,7; 13:15; 15:18; 17:7,19; 21:12).
5. Jacob for a blessing (Gen 28:20-22). Answered because of God’s plan for him (Gen 32:1-33:17).
6. Jacob for deliverance from Esau (130 words; Gen 32:9-12). Answered because of God’s word and plan for him (Gen 25:19-23; 26:3; 27:28-29; 28:3-4,13-15; 32:9).
References to prayer, entreating the Lord, calling on the name of the Lord, and groaning and being afflicted (Gen 12:7-8; 13:4; 16:11; 20:17-18; 25:21-23).
Four Prayers in Exodus:
7. Moses for Aaron to go with him (16 words; Ex 4:13). Answered because God wanted to please Moses (Ex 4:14-17).
8. Moses in complaint to God for not delivering Israel (42 words; Ex 5:22-23). Answered because of God’s word (Ex 3:8,12, 17-22).
9. Moses for forgiveness for Israel (39 words; Ex 32:31-32). Answered because of atonement and intercession (Ex 32:11-14,30-35) and because of God’s word (Ex 33:1-6,12-14).
10. Moses for God’s presence to go with Israel to Canaan (138 words; Ex 33:12-13,15-16). Answered because of God’s word (Ex 33:12-14) and His grace (Ex 33:17).
References to groaning, sighing, crying, and entreating the Lord (Ex 2:11,23-25; 3:7,9; 10:16).
Nine Prayers in Numbers:
11. Aaron for the blessing of God upon the people (32 words in the form of benediction; Num 6:24-26). Answered because of God’s promise (Num 6:27).
12. Moses for God to bless on the journey (27 words; Num 10:35-36). Answered when Israel lived free from sin, but unanswered when they sinned, which was according to God’s word (Ex 32:32-33).
13. Moses in complaining to God because the burden was too heavy (136 words; Num 11:10-15). Answered because of God’s words (Num 11:16-20,25-30).
14. Moses for God to show him what to do to give the people flesh (56 words; Num 11:21-22). Answered because of God’s word (Num 11:21) and to show His power (Num 11:23).
15. Moses for the healing of Miriam (8 words; Num 12:13). Answered because of God’s love for Moses (Num 12:14-16).
16. Moses for God to spare Israel and uphold His own honor (208 words; Num 14:13-19). Answered because of Moses’ prayer (Num 14:20).
17. Moses for judgment on sin (20 words; Num 16:15). Answered because of sin (Num 16:23-34).
18. Israel for forgiveness of sin (25 words; Num 21:7). Answered because of Moses’ prayer and by type of Christ on the cross (Num 21:7-9; 3:14-16).
19. Moses for a new leader of Israel (56 words; Num 27:16-17). Answered because of God’s plan for Israel (Num 27:18-23).
References to prayer (Num 11:2; 21:7).
Two Prayers in Deuteronomy:
20. Moses asking to go over into Canaan (59 words; Deut 3:24-25). Unanswered because of sin (Deut 3:26; Num 20:12).
21. Moses for Israel to be spared (114 words; Deut 9:26-29). Answered because of intercession of Moses (Ex 32:11-14).
References to prayer (Deut 9:20,26), also what to pray for elders at murder trials (Deut 21:6-9) and what all Israel should pray after obedience to the law (Deut 26:5-15).
Two Prayers in Joshua:
22. Joshua in complaint because God had not given victory (90 words; Josh 7:7-9). Answered so sin could be put away (Josh 7:10-15).
23. Joshua in the form of a command for the sun and moon to stand still (14 words; Josh 10:12). Answered because of necessity for time to finish God’s work (Josh 10:13).
Nine Prayers in Judges:
24. Israel for guidance (14 words; Judges 1:1). Answered because it was in harmony with the will of God for the nation (Judges 1:2).
25. Gideon for revelation and guidance (135 words; Judges 6:13,15,17-18,22). Answered because of God’s word and will for Israel (Judges 6:12,14,16,20-21,23).
26. Israel for deliverance and forgiveness of sins (36 words; Judges 10:10,15). Answered because of God’s plan for Israel (Judges 11:1-33).
27. Jephthah for victory (55 words; Judges 11:30-31). Answered because of God’s plan for Israel (Judges 11:32).
28. Manoah for an angel to appear and give him directions (91 words; Judges 13:8,11-12,15,17). Answered because of God’s plan for Israel (Judges 13:9,11,13,16,18).
29. Samson for one last victory (33 words; Judges 16:28). Answered because of his reconsecration to the Nazarite vows (Judges 13:4-5; 16:22).
30. Israel for guidance (14 words; Judges 20:23). Answered because of judgment on sin.
31. Israel for guidance (19 words; Judges 20:28). Answered because of judgment on sin.
32. Israel for revelation (24 words; Judges 21:3). No answer recorded.
Six Prayers in 1 Samuel:
33. Hannah for a son (55 words; 1 Sam 1:11). Answered because of God’s plan for Israel (1 Sam 1:20-23) and promises to bless with children upon obedience (Lev 26:3-13; Deut 28:1-14).
34. Hannah to express gratitude for answered prayer (264 words; 1 Sam 2:1-10). No request to answer.
35. Saul for guidance (16 words; 1 Sam 14:37). Unanswered because of sin (1 Sam 13:1-14; 14:37).
36. David for guidance (7 words; 1 Sam 23:2). Answered because of God’s plan (1 Sam 23:2).
37. David for revelation (72 words; 1 Sam 23:10-12). Answered because of God’s plan.
38. David for revelation (10 words; 1 Sam 30:8). Answered because of God’s plan.
References to prayer (1 Sam 7:9; 8:6; 12:18; 15:11; 28:6).
Four Prayers in 2 Samuel:
39. David for revelation (16 words; 2 Sam 2:1). Answered because of God’s plan.
40. David for revelation (14 words; 2 Sam 5:19). Answered because of God’s plan (2 Sam 5:19).
41. David for fulfillment of Davidic covenant (364 words; 2 Sam 7:18-29). Answered partially, and will be fulfilled in all eternity when Christ comes to reign (Isa 9:6-7; Luke 1:32-33; Acts 15:13-18; Rev 11:15; 20:1-10).
42. David for forgiveness of sin (29 words; 2 Sam 24:10). Answered, but judgments fell (2 Sam 24:11-25).
References to prayer (2 Sam 5:23; 12:16; 15:7-8; 21:1).
Five Prayers in 1 Kings:
43. Solomon for wisdom (146 words; 1 Kings 3:6-9). Answered because it pleased God (1 Kings 3:10-14).
44. Solomon, prayer of dedication (1,050 words; 1 Kings 8:23-53). Answered according to obedience of Israel.
45. Elijah for resurrection of boy (35 words; 1 Kings 17:20-21). Answered because of faith in God (1 Kings 17:22-24; Heb 11:35).
46. Elijah for fire from heaven (63 words; 1 Kings 18:36-37). Answered because of faith (1 Kings 18:38).
47. Elijah for death (18 words; 1 Kings 19:4). Unanswered because it was contrary to God’s plan which was to translate him and permit him to live bodily in heaven until time to come back to earth as one of the two witnesses (2 Kings 2:9; Zech 4:11-14; Mal 4:5-6; Rev 11:3-11).
References to prayer (1 Kings 13:6; 18:42-43).
Three Prayers in 2 Kings:
48. Elisha for his servant’s eyes to be opened (11 words; 2 Kings 6:17). Answered by faith.
49. Hezekiah for deliverance (133 words; 2 Kings 19:15-19). Answered by faith (2 Kings 19:35).
50. Hezekiah for a longer life (30 words); he received 15 years more (2 Kings 20:3). Answered by faith (2 Kings 20:5-6).
Two Prayers in 1 Chronicles:
51. Jabez for enlarged coast (33 words; 1 Chron 4:10). Answered because of God’s word to give Israel all the land (1 Chron 4:10; Gen 15:18-21).
52. David for Solomon and Israel (326 words; 1 Chron 29:10-19). Answered partially, in the temporary obedience to God of Solomon and Israel.
References to prayer (1 Chron 5:20; 21:26; 23:30).
Two Prayers in 2 Chronicles:
53. Asa for victory (50 words; 2 Chron 14:11). Answered by faith (2 Chron 14:12-14).
54. Jehoshaphat for victory (224 words; 2 Chron 20:6-12). Answered by faith (2 Chron 20:20-25).
References to prayer (2 Chron 15:13; 33:13).
Two Prayers in Ezra:
55. Ezra-prayer of thanksgiving (50 words; Ezra 7:27-28).
56. Ezra for forgiveness and help (419 words; Ezra 9:5-15). Answered (Ezra 10:1-19).
References to prayer (Ezra 8:21-23).
Nine Prayers in Nehemiah:
57. Nehemiah for confession of sins and help (256 words; Neh 1:5-11).
58. Nehemiah for judgment (53 words; Neh 4:1-6).
59. Nehemiah for help (7 words; Neh 6:9).
60. Nehemiah for help (31 words; Neh 6:14).
61. Israel-confession of sins (1,205 words-the longest prayer; Neh 9:5-38).
62. Nehemiah for blessing (29 words; Neh 13:14).
63. Nehemiah for blessing (18 words; Neh 13:22).
64. Nehemiah for judgment (21 words; Neh 13:29).
65. Nehemiah for blessing (7 words).
Refrences to prayer (Neh 2:4; 4:9; 8:6).
Seven Prayers in Job:
66. Job-prayer of thanksgiving and resignation (30 words; Job 1:20-22).
67. Job in complaint and for relief and forgiveness (114 words; Job 7:17-21). Answered (Job 42:10).
68. Job in complaint and for relief (571 words; Job 9:25-10:22). Answered (Job 42:10).
69. Job in complaint and for life and forgiveness (198 words; Job 14:13-22). Answered (Job 42:10).
70. Job for a fair trial (48 words; Job 23:3-5). Answered (Job 38-42).
71. Job, prayer of confession (34 words; Job 40:3-5)
72. Job, prayer of repentance (87 words; Job 42:1-6). Answered (Job 42:10).
Seventy-two Prayers in Psalms:
73-123. David. In 50 prayer-psalms he made requests for various blessings, most of them being answered because of faith in God’s promises (Psalms 3-7; 9; 12:1-13:6; 16:1-17:15; 19:1-20:9; 22; 25:1-31:24; 35:1-36:12; 38:1-41:13; 51; 54:1-61:8; 64; 69:1-70:5; 86; 108:1-109:31; 119; 124; 132; 139:1-144:15). The ones unanswered will be answered in due time for David even prayed about future events.
124-138. An unknown psalmist (perhaps David) prayed for many kinds of blessings, which were granted or will be granted (Psalms 10; 33; 43:1-44:26; 71; 85; 88; 102; 106; 118; 120; 123; 125; 129; 137).
139-143. Asaph made many requests to God (in 5 prayers) for various kinds of blessing which were granted or will yet be granted (Psalms 74; 79:1-80:19; 82:1-83:18).
144. Moses makes requests to God (Psalms 90).
145. Ethan made requests for God to remember the reproach of His servants (Psalms 89).
Thus, in 72 of the 150 psalms there are personal requests to God, making them definitely prayer-psalms. A few of the other 78 may also be considered such because of the general nature of the subject matter. Even in the listed prayer-psalms many subjects are more outstanding than the prayers. See notes on these psalms.
Three Prayers in Isaiah:
146. Isaiah for cleansing (38 words; Isa 6:5). Answered (Isa 6:6-7).
147. Hezekiah for deliverance (133 words; Isa 37:16-20). Answered (Isa 37:36).
148. Hezekiah for healing and length of days (30 words; Isa 38:3). Answered (Isa 38:5).
References to prayer (Isa 1:15; 7:11; 16:12; 26:16; 55:6-7). There are also prayers that Israel will make in the time of their restoration as a nation (Isa 12; 64).
Eleven Prayers in Jeremiah:
149. Jeremiah, confession of inability to obey God (12 words; Jer 1:6).
150. Jeremiah, accusing God (24 words; Jer 4:10).
151. Jeremiah for judgment (80 words; Jer 10:23-25). Answered (Dan 5).
152. Jeremiah, questioning God (133 words; Jer 12:1-4).
153. Jeremiah for help for Judah (95 words; Jer 14:7-9).
154. Jeremiah for help for Judah (81 words; Jer 14:20-22).
155. Jeremiah, judgment (118 words; Jer 15:15-18).
156. Jeremiah for judgment (158 words; Jer 17:13-18).
157. Jeremiah for judgment (174 words; Jer 18:19-23).
158. Jeremiah for judgment (214 words; Jer 20:7-12).
159. Jeremiah, concerning captivity of Judah (209 words; Jer 32:17-25).
References to prayer (Jer 7:16; 11:14; 14:11; 21:2; 29:7,12; 37:3; 42:2,4,20).
Four Prayers in Lamentations:
160. Jeremiah for judgment (108 words; Lam 1:20-22).
161. Jeremiah for consideration (113 words; Lam 2:20-22).
162. Jeremiah for judgment (158 words; Lam 3:55-66).
163. Jeremiah for the oppressed people of Judah (300 words; Lam 5).
Jeremiah could be called the praying prophet as well as the weeping prophet. He has 15 recorded prayers.
Three Prayers in Ezekiel:
164. Ezekiel protesting what God wanted him to do (41 words; Ezek 4:14).
165. Ezekiel for the remnant (20 words; Ezek 9:8).
166. Ezekiel for the remnant (14 words; Ezek 11:13).
Two Prayers in Daniel:
167. Daniel for forgiveness of sins and fulfillment of prophecy (550 words; Dan 9:1-19).
168. Daniel for revelation (11 words; Dan 12:8).
References to prayer (Dan 2:17-18; 6:10).
Two Prayers in Amos:
169. Amos for forgiveness s (16 words; Amos 7:2).
170. Amos for help (16 words; Amos 7:5).
Three Prayers in Jonah:
171. Sailors for mercy (33 words; Jonah 1:14).
172. Jonah for deliverance from hell (198 words; Jonah 2:1-9).
173. Jonah for death (70 words; Jonah 4:2-3).
Three Prayers in Habakkuk:
174. Habakkuk for God to act (75 words; Hab 1:1-5).
175. Habakkuk for judgment (156 words; Hab 1:12-17).
176. Habakkuk for revival (474 words; Hab 3:2-19).
Seventeen Prayers in Matthew:
177. Jesus, The Lord’s prayer (66 words; Matt 6:9-13).
178. Leper for healing (9 words; Matt 8:2). Answered (Matt 8:3).
179. Centurion for healing of his servant (73 words; Matt 8:6-9). Answered (Matt 8:13).
180. Disciples for help from drowning (5 words; Matt 8:25). Answered (Matt 8:26).
181. Demons for temporary liberty (37 words; Matt 8:29-31). Answered (Matt 8:32).
182. A ruler for healing (18 words; Matt 9:18). Answered (Matt 9:25).
183. A woman for healing (11 words; Matt 9:21). Answered (Matt 9:22).
184. Two blind men for healing (8 words; Matt 9:27). Answered (Matt 9:29-30).
185. Jesus giving thanks to God (38 words; Matt 11:25).
186. Peter to walk on water (13 words; Matt 14:28). Answered (Matt 14:29).
187. Peter for help from drowning (3 words; Matt 14:30). Answered (Matt 14:31).
188. A woman for healing of her daughter (36 words; Matt 15:22-27). Answered (Matt 15:28).
189. A man for healing of his son (39 words; Matt 17:15-16). Answered (Matt 17:18).
190. A mother for exaltation of her 2 sons, James and John (23 words; Matt 20:21). Unanswered because of wrong motive and not in harmony with God’s plan (Matt 20:23).
191. Two blind men for healing (27 words; Matt 20:30-33). Answered (Matt 20:34).
192. Jesus to be saved from death in the garden before He could die on the cross (62 words; Matt 26:39-44). Answered (Heb 5:7).
193. Jesus on the cross (9 words; Matt 27:46).
References to prayer (Matt 6:5-13; 7:7-11; Matt 14:23; 18:19-20; 21:22; 23:14).
Two Prayers in Mark:
194. A demon for temporary freedom (31 words; Mark 1:23-24).
195. Jesus in healing a deaf mute (2 words-the shortest prayer; Mark 7:34). Answered (Mark 7:35).
References to prayer (Mark 1:35; 6:41,46; 9:23; 11:22-24).
Seven Prayers in Luke:
196. Simeon in blessing Jesus (43 words; Luke 2:29-32).
197. Rich man in hell (80 words; Luke 16:24-31).
198. Ten lepers for healing (5 words; Luke 17:13). Answered (Luke 17:14,19).
199. A Pharisee in boasting of his righteousness (34 words; Luke 18:11-12). Unjustified (Luke 18:14).
200. A publican for mercy (7 words; Luke 18:13). Answered, justified (Luke 18:14).
201. Jesus on the cross (10 words; Luke 23:34).
202. Jesus on the cross (8 words; Luke 23:46).
References to prayer (Luke 3:21-22; 5:16; 6:12; 9:28-29; 11:1-13; 18:1-18; 22:31-32).
Five Prayers in John:
203. Nobleman for healing of child (7 words; John 4:49). Answered (John 4:50).
204. People for living bread (6 words; John 6:34).
205. Jesus for resurrection of Lazarus (40 words; John 11:41-43). Answered (John 11:44).
206. Jesus for glorification (19 words; John 12:27-28). Answered (John 12:28).
207. Jesus for disciples (638 words; John 17).
References to prayer (John 7:37-39; 14:12-15; 15:7,16; 16:23-26).
Six Prayers in Acts:
208. Disciples for successor to Judas (41 words; Acts 1:24-25). Answered (Acts 1:26).
209. Peter for healing of lame man (12 words; Acts 3:6). Answered (Acts 3:7-8).
210. Disciples for boldness and power (178 words; Acts 4:24-30). Answered (Acts 4:31-33).
211. Stephen for enemies (13 words; Acts 7:59-60).
212. Paul for instruction (12 words; Acts 9:5-6). Answered (Acts 9:5-6).
213. Peter for resurrection of Tabitha (2 words; Acts 9:40). Answered (Acts 9:40-41).
References to prayer (Acts 1:14; 3:1; 6:4; 8:22,24,34; 10:9,31; 12:5; 16:13-16).
One Prayer in 3 John:
214. That we the readers would prosper and be in health as our soul prospers (18 words; 3 John :2)
Eight Prayers in Revelation:
215. Elders in worship (27 words; Rev 4:11).
216. Angels in worship (22 words; Rev 5:12).
217. All creatures in worship (22 words; Rev 5:13).
218. Martyrs for vengeance (22 words; Rev 6:10).
219. Great multitude in worship (13 words; Rev 7:10).
220. Angels in worship (23 words; Rev 7:12).
221. Glorified saints in worship (56 words; Rev 19:1-6).
222. John for the coming of Jesus Christ a second time, 5 words (Rev 22:20).
Besides the actual worded prayers in these 31 books of the Bible, there are many passages in them, as well as in some of the 35 books containing no prayers, that give much instruction on the subject of prayer. It is thought by some that there are a number of prayers in the epistles, but in reality, these books contain only statements to Christians regarding the apostles praying for them that God would bless them, or they give instructions for Christians to pray and tell them what to pray for. These are not actual prayers addressed to God, however (Rom 1:8-10; 16:20; Eph 1:15-20; 3:13-21; Phil 1:2-7; Col 1:3-14; 1 Thess 1:2-3; 3:9-13; 1 Tim 1:3-7; 2 Tim 4:14-18; James 5:13-18).
Thirty-five Books Where a Direct Prayer Is Not Mentioned
6. Song of Solomon
17. 1 Corinthians
18. 2 Corinthians
23. 1 Thessalonians
24. 2 Thessalonians
25. 1 Timothy
26. 2 Timothy
31. 1 Peter
32. 2 Peter
33. 1 John
34. 2 John
Copyright 2000 (c) by Finis Dake – All rights reserved – Used by Permission (With Minor Corrections)
“Therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:6
There are some who would not see it as a prayer. Job was not asking God for anything when he said it. Still, it is a great prayer; maybe one of the greatest of all. The prayer ends with these profound words: “‘Therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes.’” (Job 42:6)
How did Job come to such a confession? Back at the beginning of the book, Job was a man of much blessing and extravagant means. He served God unreservedly which Satan chalked up to the fancy way God treated him. “‘Does Job fear God for nothing? Hast Thou not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side?’” (Job 1:9-10)
But things were about to change. God agreed to – even suggested, a severe testing of Job in which blessing by blessing was stripped away from his life. Would he still serve God? When the worst of it hit, his wife’s advice to him was; “‘Curse God and die!’” (Job 2:9)
Job did not listen to her and neither did he buy into the advice of the friends who came, first to comfort him and then to point their fingers of blame for what they figured must be his fault. Job insisted upon his own innocence. Though he didn’t understand “why” it was happening he clung to God anyhow. He told his friends; “‘Though He slay me, I will hope in Him. Nevertheless I will argue my ways before Him.’” (Job 13:15)
Eloquently Job did argue his ways with the friends who tended him in his misery. All they wanted was for him to admit that he must have sinned in some way to bring these consequences. All he wanted was for them to trust in his innocence and his right standing before God.
In the end God took over the argument. Listen to the sarcasm dripping from the Lord’s voice. “I will ask you, and you instruct Me. Will you really annul My judgment? Will you condemn Me that you may be justified?” (Job 40:8) Really now – what brought that on? Had Job been guilty after all? Were the friends right? No! It was God himself who said that Job was “‘a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.’” (Job 18) What then?
Job reached the place where he discontinued justifying himself in favor of acknowledging the superior greatness of God. There is a place spiritually beyond why something happened – a place beyond who’s right and who’s wrong. As human beings we want all our ducks in a row. We want to say that if “A” happens, “B” will result. We don’t want to feel that we are pawns on a chess board with no control over where our life is sent next.
Most of us will not have tests and trials like Job – especially not within such a short time span. All of us though, will have unexpected downturns in our life. There are times when the big WHY looms over us. Many times our “friends” are right there to tell us why it all happened to us. Maybe they are right and maybe they are wrong (like they were with Job) but that’s not the final say on the matter.
If we are smart we will eventually get past it all to the place Job came to. Here is his prayer – his final say on the matter.
“I know that Thou canst do all things, and that no purpose of Thine can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. ‘Here, now, and I will speak; I will ask Thee, and do Thou instruct me.’ I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees Thee; therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:1-6)
Are you in a place of great questioning because God does not appear to be faithful in your circumstances? Instead, is he silent as you go on and on in suffering? Go ahead and argue your case and work through everything you must to reach some semblance of understanding. But beyond all that there is another prayer: Job’s prayer. When all is said and done, will you be ready to pray it?
Read next about Jesus’ great prayer.
Introduction: A first grader in my wife’s class was discouraged because his little life was not going well. He confided in my wife, “I don’t know why this is happening to me, I pay my tithe!” Does this little guy express your feelings sometimes? Something bad is happening in your life and you cannot understand why God is allowing it to happen? Do you pray and it seems that God is not answering or not giving the answer you deserve? One of the most encouraging stories in the Bible is the story of Job. Let’s jump in and see what we can learn about his prayers in times of great discouragement!
- Job’s Background
- Read Job 1:1-3. What kind of man was Job? (He was righteous and rich! God called him “blameless.”)
- Read Job 1:4-5. What was one of Job’s greatest concerns? (He was concerned about the spiritual welfare of his children.)
- Why do you think Job purified his children by a sacrifice after each of the feasts? (It appears there is something about his children’s activities during the feasts that worried Job.)
- The Bible does not say that Job attended these feasts. Any idea why not?
- Let’s skip down to Job 1:13-15. The stock market has been in a nosedive lately. How many oxen and donkeys did Job lose in the Greenspan (sorry, Sabean) crash? ( Job 1:3 – 500 yoke of oxen and 500 donkeys.)
- What do you think Job thought when he heard this? (Most of his wealth was in camels and sheep, not oxen and donkeys. So his wealth was still intact.)
Read Job 1:16-17. How many sheep and camels did Job lose? ( Job 1:3 – 7,000 sheep and 3,000 camels.)
- What do you think Job thought now? (He was ruined financially.)
- Do you think the difference in the way the oxen and donkeys and the sheep and camels were lost is significant? (I would guess that “raiders” were a common problem. Fire coming from heaven was not. This made the second disaster look like a punishment from God and not just an unfortunate event.)
Read Job 1:18-19. Job’s children, all ten of them, are killed during a feast at the eldest son’s home. What do you think Job thought about his children being killed during a feast? (This was the time when he was most concerned about their spiritual welfare (see Job 1:5).)
- What would your frame of mind be if this series of disasters happened to you?
- Since we are studying prayer this quarter, what kind of prayer would you pray? Would you, like the little first grader, pray “God what are you doing to me? I pay my tithe (or mention whatever spiritual service you consider most important)!” Let’s turn next to Job’s prayers.
Job’s Prayers: Prayer 1
- Read Job 1:20-22. What do you think about Job’s prayer? Is it the prayer you would have prayed?
- Would you have praised God?
- What elements are missing from Job’s prayer that you would have included in your prayer? (Why did this happen? Why did you allow this to happen to ME? Please restore my wealth! Please save (eternally) my children!)
What I like about the book of Job is that it answers the “How come” question right up front. It is an astonishing story that Job would not have guessed in a million years. Let’s look at it right now. Read Job 1:6-12.
- Who is in control of disasters? (God)
- Who causes disasters? (Satan)
- When God “strikes” (v.11) a person, how does it happen? (God allows it. Satan does it.)
- Do you agree with me that Job never could have guessed this background, this cause for his disasters?
- In light of this “inside” knowledge, is Job’s prayer in 1:20-22 correct?
Job’s Prayers: Prayer 2
- Our story continues that Satan sees God again and this time gets permission to adversely affect Job’s health. In the context of this additional disaster, the loss of his health, read Job 6:8-13.
- What is Job praying that God will do? (Let him die.)
- Why does he want to die? (He is suffering constant pain (v.10), he has no hope for the future (vv. 11-13) and he has not denied God (v.10).)
- Do you think he is considering denying God? (Verse 10 surely makes it seem that he is saying “Kill me while I am still faithful.)
- Does physical pain make it more difficult to clearly think about God? (Illness generally affects your mental attitude. I think it is more difficult for faith to handle.)
- Read Job 6:14. What does this add to your view about Job’s diminishing trust in God? (Comparing several versions of the Bible, the translation is not clear. The NIV seems to say that Job is begging his friends for support because his relationship with God is deteriorating. What is unclear is whether Job is simply referring to his friends view of his relationship with God or his actual relationship. If you look at what Job says before this you will see that his attitude is that he remains faithful to a God who is beating him up! This certainly signals some change in his attitude.)
Job’s Prayer: Prayer 2
- Read Job 9:29, 32-35. What does Job want to do to God? To what does he want God to agree? (He wants to “sue” God. He wants God to agree to binding arbitration. He wants someone to mediate between God and him and decide who is right and who is wrong.)
- Is Job questioning God’s fairness?
Let’s continue by reading Job 10:1-4. What word would you use to summarize Job’s attitude towards God now? (“Complaining.” He is telling God he thinks his situation is unfair. God is enjoying beating him up while at the same time blessing the wicked (v.3).)
- Do you think it is appropriate for Job to complain to God and tell God he wants to sue him?
- What is good and what is bad about complaining to God in our prayers?
- Is it a sin to complain? Or, does God want to hear our complaints? (Recall the story of Israel leaving Egypt and then refusing to enter into Canaan because it did not trust God to defeat the Canaanites. Read Numbers 14:11. The worst thing is to ignore God – to treat Him with contempt. When Job was complaining to God the good thing was that he was acknowledging God’s power over the situation. Therefore, complaining is better than rejecting God. If you continue in Numbers 14 and read verses 26-30 you will see that God does not, however, enjoy constant whining.)
Perhaps the most famous statement in Job is found in Job 13:14-19. Our lesson says, “Through the ages, Job’s declarations of hope have brightened the pathway of Christians everywhere.” It then directs us to read Job 13:15-16.
- Do you agree this is a declaration of hope?
- Is Job showing his unwavering faith in God? (He is showing he believes in God. But he is saying that he (Job) is right and he will argue his point with God even though God kills him for it! I find it hard to see this as a declaration of hope. It says “I’m going to battle this out with you and press my point even if you kill me.” The New Living Translation renders Job 13:14 this way: “Yes, I will take my life in my hands and say what I really think. God might kill me, but I cannot wait. I am going to argue my case with him.”)
God’s Response to Job
- If you were God, how would you react to Job’s prayers?
- How would you describe the “path” of Job’s prayers?
- Knowing the background you do, is God being unfair to Job?
- Do you think God should explain Himself to Job? Especially since He has a good explanation?
- Why do you think God has explained the situation to us?
Let’s read God’s response to Job. Read Job 38:1-5. What is God saying to Job? Does He explain what is going on? (God does not answer Job’s questions. He just says, “Who do you think you are compared to Me?”)
- God continues in this vein of showing Job he is nobody for the rest of chapter 38 and chapter 39. Let’s read Job 40:1-2. Would you be happy with God’s “Who do you think you are?” response.
- Read Job 40:3-4. How does Job answer? Has his attitude changed?
- Are you happy with God’s answer? How would you apply God’s answer to problems in your life?
- What is the lesson of the book of Job when trouble comes to our lives? (First of all, I thank God for giving us the “behind the scenes” answer in Job. God wants us to know He is fair. Second, we must not lose sight of God’s view that we need to trust Him and not question Him. We cannot begin to understand all of what God has to deal with. Although He showed us here that He is fair, we may not always see this. God’s answer to us is to just trust Him – even though we do not understand.)
Friend, will you just trust God when problems hit your life? Or, like Job, will you demand that God explain Himself to you? Although God said Job was a “perfect” man, the lesson of this book, the lesson for our prayers is just to trust God. Job’s original prayer ( Job 1:20-22) is our best prayer. Next Week: A Prayer of Supplication: Moses.