“Even today my complaint is bitter;
his hand is heavy in spite of my groaning.
If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his dwelling!
I would state my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments.”
Job 23:2-4 (NIV)
Job’s situation was desperate. He had lived an upright life before the Lord. He used his immense wealth to relieve the suffering of the poor and the widows. He worshipped God. He taught his family to serve the Lord. Then the severest possible calamity struck and his family was wiped out, his fortune was gone, his wife turned against him, his health failed and he suffered from a debilitating disease—then his friends attacked him unfairly, and the final horror was that his sense of God’s presence left him.
In his extremity he cried out the haunting words of our text for today. He had framed his case to present to the Lord much like a lawyer prepares his case to plead in court.
I would suggest to you that you consider prayer to be an activity much like a courtroom scene where the defence lawyer argues his case before the judge. The child of God is the lawyer and God is the judge on the bench. This makes prayer a serious, planned and intelligent exercise.
When you take this concept of prayer to the great prayers of the Old Testament you are able to glean strategies for your own prayer life. There is nothing better than to learn from the spiritual giants in Scripture. Their prayer lives are recorded as examples for us to follow.
Looking at Daniel 9 we see that about 75% of the chapter is a prayer. Daniel confesses the sins of the people after giving a beautiful description of some of God’s attributes. Then in verse 9 he speaks of God as a God of mercy and forgiveness. So Daniel is pleading his case based on the character of God.
In verse 15 Daniel asks God to do for the people what He did in the time of Moses—when He brought the nation out of bondage to Egypt. So Daniel brings to God’s attention a precedent and asks for a repeat performance. Do you know of a time when the Lord did what you want Him to do today? Bring it to him in prayer and say, “Please Lord, do it again.”
Then in verse 16 Daniel focuses on who it is for whom he prays. He says “…your city, your holy hill…” When you speak to a parent about their child, you immediately have their full attention. Tell the Lord you are asking for His beloved children. Jesus does this in John 17:9 (NIV)
“I pray for them. I am not praying for the world,
but for those you have given me, for they are yours.”
Go to prayer today and practice his method of pleading before your beloved Father in heaven. The gates of heaven will indeed open and you shall be heard.