If Prayer Works For Lions And Ravens…
Job 38:39 “Do you hunt the prey for the lioness and satisfy the hunger of the lions
(38:40) when they crouch in their dens or lie in wait in a thicket?
(38:41) Who provides food for the raven when its young cry out to God and wander about for lack of food?”
To understand these verses we need to understand the entire setting of the book of Job. The book of Job begins in Chapter 1 and 2 with a story of a very wealth man known as Job. The man like all of us becomes a subject of the great controversy between God and Satan. The question in the controversy for Job and for all of us, is, does Job (and do we) relate with God for love of God or because of the benefits that come with relating with God? There actually are real benefits for relating with God, but are they the key reasons for the relationship? Satan suggested to God that, when Job and any of us is denied the benefits we get from relating with God, then the relationship will end. To prove satan wrong and to show His confidence in Job and even in us, God allowed (and still allows) Satan to interfere and tamper with the benefits Job and all of us get from relating with God. In all that Satan did to Job, loss of wealth, loss of family by death and disagreement, and finally loss of good health, Job remained faithful to his relationship with God. I pray that we too remain faithful to God today when we lose all the benefits that come with relating with God.
At the end of Chapter 2 the news on the suffering of Job is spread all over and his friends come visiting. They are so shocked at what they find and they weep and sit around Job for seven days without speaking. In chapter 3 Job opens his mouth and in suffering and without knowing of the on going controversy, he expresses his pain by wishing he was never born to experience all these. In the next Chapters 4-37 Job and his friends begin an argument on why he is suffering. Job insists he is innocent but suffering. Job’s friends insist that the suffering must be because of some guilt. Job expresses a wish to converse with God concerning his situation for he says, in spite of all these, he trusts in God, even if God kills him (Job 13:15). Chapter 38 where our verses are picked from, God responds to Job first and then later to his friends.
In God’s response, He does not directly answer Job on questions he raised but instead He shows him His majesty. John 17:3 “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” To know God, not just theoretically but experientially, is what gives us a better life in spite of all that we go through. God reveals Himself to Job, so that he may know Him, for that is all that he needs in order for him to be content in all situations including this. God challenges Job with questions to prove that God is great and mightier than Job knows. Through the questions we learn of how much God has done and does behind the scenes unknown to us. How God manages nature in our favour and how He created the world.
In the verses for our reading today (Job 38:39 “Do you hunt the prey for the lioness and satisfy the hunger of the lions
(38:40) when they crouch in their dens or lie in wait in a thicket?
(38:41) Who provides food for the raven when its young cry out to God and wander about for lack of food?”) God reveals a truth we didn’t know. We learn to our amazement that it is God who feeds the lions. Without God, lions cant catch the prey they hunt. God participates in the hunting spree of lions! While zoologists praise hunting skills of lions, God says, it is I who facilitates that success. Instead of getting amazed by the hunting skills of lions, we should be amazed by the God of the lions who feeds them.
God also reveals that Ravens, mere birds, do cry to God for food. Ravens pray for food from God! God feeds ravens in answer to their prayer. Even the young ones of ravens know the power of prayer! The young ones of ravens pray to God instead of crying to their parents. I pause to wonder, have we taught our children to pray to God and not just cry to us parents? We parents are transient but God is eternal, let us teach children to look up to God not just us.
Prayer works for lions and ravens, what about us? Lions as kings of the jungle with immense energies and skills, still depend on God for food, what about us in our obvious limitations? Is it not a shame that we don’t pray, when animals have sense enough to pray? Is not foolish enough that animals trust God when we don’t? Skills, qualifications, experience and competence do not exempt us from prayer, they actually enhance the need for prayer. If prayer works for lions and ravens, why shouldn’t I pray and trust God too?
The prayer of lions and ravens does not exempt them from hunting. our prayers should not exempt us from the necessary required hard work on a daily basis. After prayer, the lions and ravens do their best to get a meal for the day. After prayers, we too should do our best to earn our living. It is a curse to depend on help, sponsors, and free aid. It is a cursed life that only waits to be assisted, that prowls the internet to look for sponsors and free money.
Poverty will never leave a wishful thinker and day dreamer who wants to get it for free from those who have worked hard. It is the mind set of free things that addicts those who gamble and bet, hoping for a big win. It is not a mindset approved nor blessed by God. Free is addictive and destructive. The day we start rejecting the free, that day we are liberated and on a path of immense blessings, wealth and success. We must learn and teach our children to reject free things! Lions and ravens pray, but they also work hard, and God blesses them and answers their prayers as they work hard. after prayers, go and work hard, your answers to prayer will come as you work hard!
There is time for prayer and time for working hard. It is not religious nor a sign of commitment to pray all the time without working hard. It is actually the worst form of hypocrisy that will deliver to hell people thought today to be pious. Lions and ravens pray, and God answers their prayers as they work hard.
To depend on your abilities only, without looking up to God for help in prayer, is a sure way to a stressful depressing and unsatisfactory life. A life of chasing the wind. A life of discontent, competition with others and fears. A life that amasses but finds no happiness. Lions and ravens have abilities, renown abilities, but they pray to God for help. If prayer works for lions and ravens, why shouldn’t I pray and trust God too?
Dear LORD teach me to use my skills and to prayerfully do so, and as you answer prayers and provide for lions and ravens, answer my prayers and provide for me too, in Jesus name, Amen!(c)firstname.lastname@example.org (do not delete any part of this post, including this. You are free to share these posts, but do not edit the authorship or content…thank you and be blessed!)