A Prayer for Loving God, When It’s Easy and When It’s Not
”Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” Job 1:9-11
Dear heavenly Father, I sometimes wonder if Satan watches American religious television programming or peruses many of the best selling Christian books, because there’s a lot there to fuel the accusations, reflected in this portion of your Word. There’s a lot to substantiate his charge that the only reason we love you is because of the goodies you give us and kindness you show us.
As this day begins, I humbly and gratefully acknowledge that I have a gracious supply of “creature comforts” in my life. There’s nothing presently in my life challenging my faith or calling your faithfulness into question. I’m in good health; there’s more check left over at the end of the month; and none of my family members are in crisis. Nothing beyond the normal fallen-ness and brokenness of life is happening around me or within me. Truly, there’s nothing really whine-worthy going on in my life.
Father, I presume on none of these kind providences. I take none of your good gifts for granted. It’s only by your mercy and grace that I don’t struggle with an attitude of entitlement as much as I used to. The gospel has convinced me that every good gift I have comes from you (1 Cor. 4:7).
So as I think today about Job’s story, it’s not with gritted teeth or clenched fists. But Satan’s question always remains current: Why do we love you? Why do I love you? What’s our motivation for worshiping you? How will I think about you the next time I suffer loss, betrayal, and pain? These things, no doubt, will continue happen until the Day Jesus returns to finish making all things new.
Father, I want to be a man who loves and worships you simply because you are God—when life’s easy or life’s hard; when you’re “showing up” or remaining silent; when you answer my prayers or rattle my cage; when there’s blue skies or dark clouds; when my relationships are thriving or when they are draining; when I am skipping or when I am vexing…
Father, there’s no other god besides you, and there’s certainly no other god like you. I’m very grateful for your gifts, but I want to love and worship you, the Giver, as the treasure of my heart and gold of my soul. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ holy and loving name.