Job 38:1-13 & Psalm 22:1-5 & Matthew 9:35-38 & Philippians 4:6-9
Today we examine prayer through Bible passages, through song and even through the movie, Bruce Almighty.
But often we only want to think about prayer from our side only and maybe we even ask the wrong questions.
So, instead of asking ‘Why doesn’t God always give me what I want?’ we might instead turn it around to say, ‘Why does God bother to give us anything at all?’
Our previous song had something to say about this.
And maybe, instead of saying, ‘What do I want?’ – we might think about asking, ‘What does God need me to do?
And again, ‘Is it my faith or God’s faithfulness that is the most important thing in the Christian journey?’
Do we sometimes blame God for our woes, do we, even unintentionally, evaluate God’s performance, do we sometimes fail to see the signs?
View video: from minute 19:17 to 23:04
This is what we read in Job 38:1-13
Have You Gotten to the Bottom of Things?
1 And now, finally, God answered Job from the eye of a violent storm. He said:
2-11 “Why do you confuse the issue?
Why do you talk without knowing what you’re talking about?
Pull yourself together, Job!
Up on your feet! Stand tall!
I have some questions for you,
and I want some straight answers.
Where were you when I created the earth?
Tell me, since you know so much!
Who decided on its size? Certainly you’ll know that!
Who came up with the blueprints and measurements?
How was its foundation poured,
and who set the cornerstone,
While the morning stars sang in chorus
and all the angels shouted praise?
And who took charge of the ocean
when it gushed forth like a baby from the womb?
That was me! I wrapped it in soft clouds,
and tucked it in safely at night.
Then I made a playpen for it,
a strong playpen so it couldn’t run loose,
And said, ‘Stay here, this is your place.
Your wild tantrums are confined to this place.’
12-15 “And have you ever ordered Morning, ‘Get up!’
told Dawn, ‘Get to work!’
So you could seize Earth like a blanket
and shake out the wicked like cockroaches?
And in Psalm 22:1-5 we read:
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?
2 My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest.
3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
you are the one Israel praises.
4 In you our ancestors put their trust;
they trusted and you delivered them.
5 To you they cried out and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
So, in the next scene we see something of God’s job in prayer and how it doesn’t always line up with what we want.
View video: from minute 58:18 to 1:07:52
In the next scene we see something of prayer as a call to action, to be God’s hands and feet or as is said in the scene, ‘You want to see the miracle, then be the miracle.’
View video: from 1:17:18 to 1:19:06
In the New Testament we read this:
35-38 Then Jesus made a circuit of all the towns and villages. He taught in their meeting places, reported kingdom news, and healed their diseased bodies, healed their bruised and hurt lives. When he looked out over the crowds, his heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd. “What a huge harvest!” he said to his disciples. “How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands!”
Our final scene from Bruce Almighty shows Bruce coming to a realisation that prayer’s very essence is not to struggle but to trust, to let go and let God. As we take it up one more time…
View video from 1:25:43 to 1:29:18
The scriptures put it this way:
6-7 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the centre of your life.
8-9 Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.
Many of you would have heard our final song last week in our Skit Guys video. Please sing along as you want or can.