Rev. E. Anderson
A NEEDFUL PRAYER
Reading Job 42
Text vv8, 10
There are some prayers that are needful, urgent and must be carried out because so much is dependent upon them. Job’s three professed friends never thought after this extraordinary experience they would be in the situation where they would have to go to Job and ask for prayer. Never did it ever cross their minds that this whole, demanding event would end up like this, having to request Job to pray for them. So much for them hinged upon his praying!
God directed this action thus showing the premium that he placed on this ministry and upon His servant. It underlines the respect that God has for those who engage in this role and so should encourage its employment. At the conclusion of this well-known trial, it is evident that prayer was to play a key role.
There is little doubt that this choice man of God must have prayed numerous times through this protracted ordeal. He must have wondered when it was all going to end! He must have inquired and requested of the Lord the reason for it all but he is kept somewhat in the dark and has to learn to trust amidst the seeming inexplicable happenings. In the summons of the Lord as matters are brought to a head and solution, he is to discover that prayer is to play a dynamic role.
How needful was this prayer?
1/. IT WAS ESSENTIAL TO THE THREE MEN CONCERNED
They are seen to be in a very exposed and vulnerable position deserving divine judgment because of the misrepresentations they had been guilty of. It is apparent that the Lord was greatly displeased with them because they had failed to declare that which was true and right regarding Job – ‘My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job’ – v7. If they were to be spared judgment and further embarrassment they must humble themselves and seek the intercession of this God-fearing man. With such a threat in the air it was not only needful that they pray, an answer was needed, too.
2/. IT WAS ESSSENTIAL TO GOD’S SERVANT
Job still had a real physical problem that had to be sorted out. He had had to put up with this terrible ailment and pain over a long passage of time and how he must have yearned not only for respite and relief but total deliverance. It had been a real endurance test that had thoroughly tested his patience and faith. But somehow he had won through and come to this point of breakthrough. Never did he think that in the finality of the crisis that prayer would come to the fore and he would be the key and king player. God must have communicated with him and let him know that this would resolve everything.
It would be a tremendous test for Job because he had not only been tried by his sickness but by his so-called friends. He could have built up a great deal of bad feeling towards them especially in the light of his circumstances and their words and attitudes. He could have alienated himself from them and felt he would have no truck with them in the future. Praying for them in the truest sense would mean he would have to let go of any bitterness, resentment or revenge. Only as he prayed with a spirit of grace and forgiveness would his praying be meaningful and profitable – see Matthew 6: 14, 15; 18: 21-35. Forgiveness paves the way for answer to prayer and for the experience of many divine blessings.
3/. IT WAS ESSENTIAL TO GOD
God was affirming to these four men that through prayer and the answers would come His vindication. The three would be spared from judgment and Job would be healed and justified before all. It highlighted the fact that prayer was to be the means by which all this would be brought to pass. He regarded prayer as a spiritual dynamic by which things are wrought out and so must be resorted to. If God is running the universe, this planet and the affairs of men and so places prayer in such a notable position, then it must be so respected.
4/. IT WAS ESSENTIAL TO THE REST OF POSTERITY
The historic account and incident of this great man of God is for all posterity to read and take note of. Much is to be gathered and gleaned from the forty two chapters but the ultimate appears to be the crowning feature. Prayer is seen to be priority in the outworking of God’s purpose and power. It is to be realised that prayer still must operate if God’s hand is to be manifest in grace.
For all who have a definite, close relationship with God, they must be aware of the prayers that need to be praye