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  • Writer's pictureEast Martin CRC

Vending Machine Prayers

Job 35:9-16

Verse 12  He does not answer when people cry out because of the arrogance of the wicked.

 

    Elihu continues his defense of the Lord with a point we all should take to heart as we have all been as guilty as Job about crying out to God when we are going through the hard things in life.  This is not to say we shouldn’t cry out to God in any and all circumstances, just that we must be aware of our heart when we do.

 

    The young man mentions how people plead for relief from their trials and we know we have all done that at least once or twice in our lives.  But if that is the reason we cry out to Him are we really wanting His help our just wanting to be free from the trials of life?  Too often it is because we are like Job and are sick and tired of bad things happening to us.  We feel like we deserve better and don’t understand how He can claim to love us and let these things happen to us.

 

    We, like Job, feel God is there to make our lives better.  We don’t want to have to deal with hard times in life.  We only like dealing with the parts of life which are happy and give us what we want.  If we ask someone what they want out of life their answer will almost always be something along the lines of wanting to be happy.  By that of course we mean having all the good things this world has to offer in the way of things, love, wealth and health.

 

    Elihu then points out what is truly missing in these petitions to the Lord.  They are cries of the selfish.  The people are calling out to God but are not calling out in a way that shows they are seeking God, Himself.  When we are wanting to be relieved of the stresses of life we want a higher power to remove them and free us from the oppression we feel but Elihu is trying to help these men understand God is more personal than that.

 

    Instead of just calling out to God as if He were some unknown entity in some far off place, we are able to call on Him knowing He is our creator.  Yet we shouldn’t call out to Him simply to remove our troubles.  He wants to offer us so much more – relationship, growth, knowledge and wisdom.  By not wanting to know God Himself, Job and his friends were missing out on the greatest opportunity this trial could give, a true understanding of the God of Heaven.

 

Making It Personal

    When you cry out during trials what is your idea of the God you are calling out to?  Do you only pray about things you want from Him?  What more could God be wanting from you?

 

Making It Personal Kids

    When you pray, who do you pray to?  Do you only pray for things you want from God?  What other kinds of things should you pray for?

 

Closing Prayer

    Father, we confess we often fail at crying out to You as our Father Creator instead treating You as some vending machine to give us what we want in this life.  Father, please give us hearts which want to know You and be known by You in the intimate way You desire.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

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