5 When the days of the feast had been completed, Job would send word and purify his children. Getting up early in the morning, he prepared entirely burned offerings for each one of them, for Job thought, Perhaps my children have sinned and then cursed God in their hearts. Job did this regularly. Job 1:5, CEB
Yesterday I wrote about a friend who asked me if it’s true that we should only pray for each concern we have a single time (because praying more than that may communicate to God that we don’t trust him). My answer: No, that isn’t true.
She went on to ask, “What does the Bible say about this?” The Bible gives us many examples of prayers, but the only passage (that I can think of) that specifically says “this is how you pray” comes when Jesus offers the Lord’s prayer. So, because we have very little instruction on prayer, my mind immediately went to Job as an example. The CEB describes Job as an honest man of “absolute integrity” who “feared God and avoided evil.” So, he’s not your average Joe. And what do we see Job do? We see him regularly get up and pray for his family’s sins, a very similar situation to the one that my friend finds herself in. In my mind, that means repetitive prayers are probably just fine.
I don’t know where people come up with “truths” like the one that caused my friend to feel so inadequate in her faith for so long. I would guess people just like to see how clever they can sound. I would guess they probably don’t intend for people to carry around tremendous amounts of guilt on account of the cute little sayings they coin. Either way, there’s a lot of them out there and we shouldn’t just take them at face value. We should examine them.
I’ll try to address a few more of these things over the next few days.