Prayers for the Week – Lessons from Job

Job 1:21

Hello my friends, welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post.  So much is happening in the world today, it seems like there are a lot of people that are suffering time and time again from bad events happening in their lives.  Because of all of that, I’ve been looking at the book of Job, and exploring one of the men of the Bible that endured perhaps as much as anyone.

Lessons from Job

Here is a little background information in case some of you aren’t familiar with the book of Job:

1There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. 2There were born to him seven sons and three daughters. 3He possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, and 500 female donkeys, and very many servants, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east. 4His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. 5And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and consecrate them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually. ~ Job 1:1-5 (ESV)

As we see from the first five verses, Job had it all.  He feared God, he turned away from evil, he had a wife and ten children, he had earthly possessions that we all wouldn’t mind having, and lastly, Job made sure to offer up to God the sacrifices that He needed to keep his family clean from sin.

However, there came a time when Satan approached God, who boasted of His servant Job.  In the course of their conversation, God allowed Satan to test Job to prove his love for God.  During these initial tests, Job lost all his property — all the sheep, all the camels, all the oxen, all the donkeys, and all the servants.  Then, a strong wind came upon the house that his children were at, and it collapsed, killing them all.  Job had been tested in all of these things, and despite all that, we read these words:

20Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.
22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong. ~ Job 1:20-22 (ESV)

As we continue to read Job, we learn that the tests of Satan against Job are greater and greater, and Job is afflicted with soars from the bottom of his feet to the top of his crown, at which this encounter with his wife occurs:

9Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” 10But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips. ~ Job 2:9-10 (ESV)

As the book of Job continues, Job questions why he was born; he turns angry; he believes that he has been wronged; and he argues with his friends.  After all of that, a younger man, Elihu, rebuked Job’s friends, and then rebuked Job for his attitude towards God.  Once that happened, God decided it was time to talk with Job:

1Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:
2“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
3 Dress for action like a man;
I will question you, and you make it known to me.
4“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding. ~ Job 38 (ESV)

When God has had his say, and Job is feeling about the size of a gnat, Job confessed his sin to God, and repented to Him in Job 42:1-6 (ESV).  After all of that, God rebuked Job’s friends, and only forgave them when they had a burnt offering and Job prayed for them.  In the end, though, here is the takeaway that the book of Job leaves us with:

The Lord Restores Job’s Fortunes
10And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. 11Then came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and ate bread with him in his house. And they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him. And each of them gave him a piece of money and a ring of gold.
12And the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning. And he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. 13He had also seven sons and three daughters. 14And he called the name of the first daughter Jemimah, and the name of the second Keziah, and the name of the third Keren-happuch. 15And in all the land there were no women so beautiful as Job’s daughters. And their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers. 16And after this Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, four generations. 17And Job died, an old man, and full of days. ~ Job 42:10-17 (ESV)

My brothers and sisters, the lessons from Job are many — more than I can probably write about, even if I had all the pages in the world.  However, there is a final thought that I would like to leave you with, and that is this:

My friends, we do not know why God has put these challenges before us — challenges of lost loved ones, challenges of lost jobs, challenges of lost marriages, lost children, and so on.  However, in reading the book of Job, I learned that despite all of these challenges, and even despite the anger and self pity that Job felt towards God and himself, I learned that Job still loved God, and he asked for His forgiveness, and God granted it.  Furthermore, when all was said and done, God blessed Job twice as much as he had been before.  I’m sorry that this has been so long a post, but I felt led to speak about Job from start to finish, so that we could hopefully learn from it and help us to turn our misfortune into greater blessings for us moving forward.  Now, please pray with us in our various Prayer Requests and Praises:

Prayers for Health

  • Continued prayers for Daniel and Amanda and Daniel’s cancer treatments.
  • Continued prayers for Doug and his upcoming hip replacement surgery.
  • Prayers for Mr. & Mrs. Millwood and their health ailments.
  • Prayers for Mark, who is having shoulder surgery on 9/25.  Prayers of Peace for him and his wife Jan also, as well as prayers for Comfort and Strength, too.
  • Prayers for Margaret, who fell and broke her write — she needed to have surgery and is now at Robert & Dee’s house recovering.  Prayers for Peace, Comfort, and Strength as well for all of them too.

Prayers for Jobs

  • Sebastian — he has a job interview on 9/21
  • Sherry
  • Stephanie
  • Alex
  • Colleen
  • Angie
  • My cousin Deb’s husband Don

Prayers for Enemies

  • Those that would do harm to us.
  • Kathy

Praises!

  • To Jesus, for all He has blessed us with, and for loving us and giving Himself up for us in our fallen state.
  • Mom & Dad
  • Robin & Jim
  • Brett & Tara
  • Stephanie and Shane and Lindsay
  • Leslie and Matt and Kennedy
  • Nancy and Otis and Anna Jane
  • Ann and Jerry and Jeremy and Jenna
  • Ellis and Sandy and Sarah and Michael and Katie
  • Kelvin and Kim and Eli
  • Cindy and Sophie
  • Russ
  • Jim
  • Hardin
  • Mr. Boone
  • James
  • Elisha

Prayers for The Men’s Study

  • Prayers for the leaders of the Men’s Study as they lead the men in learning more about God and what it takes to be a Christian.
  • Prayers for all the small groups of the study.
  • Prayers for Russ and his message each week.
  • Prayers for Stefan and Lane as they lead us in worship.
  • Prayers for my small group, and my leader, Charles.
  • Please lift up all of the prayer requests we have, details aren’t important, God knows all the details and hears our prayers.

Now, please pray with me the prayer that Jesus taught His Disciples to pray:

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done,
On earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory forever and ever. Amen.

Prayers for the Week – A New Year

 

2-Corinthians-5_17

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week! Happy New Year, everyone! 2014 is now gone, and 2015 has come on strong. I hope that you have a wonderful year, full of Peace, Love, Happiness, Joy, Success, but most of all, full of the Love that God has for us.

With the turning of the calendar, it is only right, at least in my mind, that we take stock of where we are in our lives.  For me, 2014 was a fairly good year, but there are many things I didn’t finish that I hope to accomplish in 2015.  More importantly, though, the turning of the year gives us a chance to take stock at where we are Spiritually in our walk with God.  Are we on the narrow road or the wide road, are with walking with God, or is God wondering where we are?  All of these questions are ones that we should look at now, and if we are traveling the wrong path, now is a great time to make a change so that we can enjoy a more meaningful, close relationship with our Lord and Savior.  The Bible verse I’ve selected today seems very appropriate for today:

17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)

Are you in Christ, as Paul writes?  If you are in Christ, you are a new creation.  If you are in Christ, then your life has changed, your old self is gone, and the new you is totally different from the old you.  This does  not mean that you are now perfect, that you never make mistakes, that you never stray from the path that Jesus walks.  However, what it does mean is that you recognize when you stray, you recognize that you have sinned, and you ask God to forgive you when you do sin.  The longer you have been in Christ, the worse it feels when you do sin, at least for me.  When I sin, immediately I feel an overpowering emotion — guilt.  When I sin, I realize that I have just turned my back on God, that I have decided to walk my own path, that I have made a decision that God’s Sacrifice — His ultimate Sacrifice — just didn’t matter at this time.  When that happens, the guilt of my sin hits me, and I immediately ask God to forgive me.

If you are not sure you are in Christ, or if you know you are not in Christ — that is, if Christ doesn’t live on in your heart in the form of the Holy Spirit — there are things that you can do to change that.  First of all, you need to ask yourself, do I want Christ in my life?  Do I believe in God, and more importantly, do I believe that God sent His Son Jesus to earth, and that His Son died for my sins?  Do I even think that I sin, do I recognize it when I do?

Before I turned to God, I would be hard pressed to admit that I recognized when I did sin.  Sure, I knew that it was wrong to curse, wrong to swear, that sort of thing, but did I think of it as sinning when I did it?  I don’t remember, now, to be honest.  I expect that at some level, deep down, I did know that — because how many of us look around the room before we say a curse word to make sure a young child doesn’t hear it.  Our thought is, that child shouldn’t hear those words — well, my friends, I’ve got news for you — none of us should hear those words…

The Sinner’s Prayer

If you want to be saved, if you know that you have never been saved, there is a prayer that you can pray. It is known as the Sinner’s Prayer, or the Prayer of Salvation. This prayer is not the only prayer that you can pray to be saved, but it is a good one. If you want to pray this prayer, follow along with the words below:

Dear God in heaven, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I acknowledge to You that I am a sinner, and I am sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived; I need your forgiveness.

I believe that your only begotten Son Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the cross at Calvary and died for my sins, and I am now willing to turn from my sin.

You said in Your Holy Word, Romans 10:9 that if we confess the Lord our God and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved.

Right now I confess Jesus as the Lord of my soul. With my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior and according to His Word, right now I am saved.

Thank you Jesus for your unlimited grace which has saved me from my sins. I thank you Jesus that your grace never leads to license, but rather it always leads to repentance. Therefore Lord Jesus transform my life so that I may bring glory and honor to you alone and not to myself.

Thank you Jesus for dying for me and giving me eternal life.
Amen.

That’s all there is to it.  If you prayed that prayer, and you believe it in your heart, and you prayed it with all of you heart and soul, then you are saved.  If you did this today for the very first time, please let us know.  Nothing gives a Christian more joy than knowing that a new Brother and Sister in Christ has joined our ranks, so let us know in the comments if you are.  Now, please read our prayer requests, and pray for those that need our prayers.

Prayer Requests and Praises…

  • My friend Chelsea had a prayer request for her husband’s Grandpa.  Here is what she wrote:Thank you all for your prayers for Wyatt’s Grandpa the surgery went well!
  • My friend Carrie had a prayer request and a praise.  Here is what she wrote on Facebook:We made it home! Now pray for Kev as he drives to Plainview for the night shift! It is endless!
    His Dad made a turn-around, he is a living miracle! Thank you so much for the prayers.
  • Lastly, please pray with us as we lift up the families of those that were involved in the wreck of Air Asia.  Please pray for their Peace, their Strength, and their Love as they strive to deal with all of the grief and turmoil in their lives.  Please pray that God would be with them all in their time of need.

Now, please pray one last prayer — the prayer that Jesus taught His Disciples to pray:

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed by thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done,
On earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory forever and ever.