The Apostle Peter was a fisherman. It’s no wonder he wrote in one of his letters “to God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered” (I Peter 1:1b) all over the place, “CAST all your anxieties on [Jesus] because He cares for you” (I Peter 5:7). When Peter wrote these encouraging words, I wonder if he was thinking of the times when Jesus told him where to CAST his fishing net. The first time it happened was when Peter first met Jesus and Peter realized that Jesus was not an ordinary man. After one of the biggest catches of fish in his career, Peter “fell at Jesus’ knees and said, ‘Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!’” (See Luke 5:1-10). Jesus answered Peter, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men” (Luke 5:10b). Jesus also advised Peter where to CAST his fishing net was after Jesus’ resurrection (see John 21). Again, Peter and his fellow fishermen caught a large number of fish (153 to be exact). When Peter realized that it was Jesus on the shore, he could not wait to see him and jumped in the water and swam to Jesus. It was on that beach where Jesus “reinstated” Peter to be a “fisher of men”, after Peter had denied Jesus three times before His death on the cross (see John 18:15-18, 25-27). Out of all the disciples, Peter knew about Jesus’ forgiveness, grace and unconditional love. That is why he sends his letter to other followers of Jesus, only this time Peter tells them to “CAST all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you.” I believe Peter means we are to leave them at Jesus’ feet and not pull them back into our boat [life].
C= Confession (see Parts II through V): “…God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He if faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness….But if anybody does sin, we have One Who speaks to the Father in our defense – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world”
(I John 1:5b-9; 2:1b-2). In my Prayer of Confession, I must be honest with myself and with the Lord, just as Peter was – I must admit, “I am a sinful person!” It is only after I confess my sins truthfully and honestly, that I am able to enjoy God’s forgiveness and have real and genuine fellowship with God and with my brothers and sisters in Christ.
A= Adoration (see Parts IV and V): The Prayer of Adoration is a prayer of praise and the worship of God and Who He is. We worship God by giving His worth and praising and exalting His attributes. In Parts IV and V, I listed ten attributes of God. In Part V, I looked at these attributes described in the Bible’s Book of Prayer – the Psalms. In the Book of Job, just before the Book of Psalms, God describes His greatness to Job. In the book, Job loses everything he has, except his nagging wife. After his unhelpful friends leave, Job starts asking all these questions of God concerning all the calamities that have come upon him. God waits until Job is finished and God answers Job by asking His own questions, from chapters 38-41.
God begins by saying, “Who is this that darkens My counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me. Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell Me if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or Who laid its cornerstone – while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? ” (Job 38:27). Throughout chapters 38-41 God talks about how He created the world and everything in it, and all that needs to be taken into consideration and done in His perfect timing, wisdom, exactness, limits, and harmony. God asks Job if he has been where God has been: “Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep?” (Job 38:16). God asks Job if he can do what God can do: “Can you bind the beautiful Pleiades [star cluster]? Can you loose the cords of Orion [star constellation]? Can you bring forth constellations in the seasons or lead out the Bear with its cubs? Do you know the laws of the heavens? Can you set God’s dominion on the earth?” (Job 38:31-33).
After more questions like these, Job response is, “I am unworthy – how can I reply to You? I put my hand over my mouth” (Job 40:4). After more of God’s questions, He also describes Who He is and what He can do. Job is undone and he replies to God: “I know that You can do all things; no plans of Yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’ My ears had heard You but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:2-6).
We often hear of the “patience” of Job, but we do not hear about his sin of pride and self-righteousness. Job thought he was better than anyone else and he deserved nothing but the best. He followed all the rules without having a personal relationship with the Rule Giver. It is only after Job saw himself as a sinful man who needed help from the Almighty God, that God was able to bless him, just as He blessed the Apostle Peter and just as He blesses us. The Book of Job does not end with him sitting in dust and ashes:
“The LORD blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. And he also had seven sons and three daughters…Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers. After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. And so he died, old and full of years” (Job 42:12-13, 15-17).
If you are ever stuck and do not know how to pray a Prayer of Adoration to God, go to Job 38-41. It’s a MIND-BLOWER!
GOD IS AWESOME!
A sinner saved by His Awesome Grace,