You are correct that Job spent a lot of time complaining about God and about his situation. Certainly, the Lord wants us to “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) during trials instead of complain. However, let us consider some of the things that Job did right during his trials for our encouragement.

After hearing that his cattle were stolen, his servants were murdered, and his seven sons and three daughters were killed, Job responded amazingly well. We read in Job 1:20-22, “Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, and said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.”

Next, we learn about Job’s health being affected and his wife trying to convince him to curse God. We read in Job 2:7-10, “So went Satan forth from the presence of the Lord, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown. And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes. Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.”

Few, if any of us, would have responded this well to these trials. Sadly, Job’s good behavior did not continue. As you mentioned, most of the book of Job describes Job complaining to his friends about God and his situation. His three friends were not any help to Job either. We read in Job 32:1-3, “So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. Then was kindled the wrath of Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the kindred of Ram: against Job was his wrath kindled, because he justified himself rather than God. Also against his three friends was his wrath kindled, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job.”

Elihu’s words in chapters 32-37 draw Job’s attention to the greatness of God and serve as a bridge between the emptiness of the advice of his three friends and the arrival of Jehovah. In chapters 38-41, the Lord addresses Job directly and teaches Job about His greatness and sovereignty.  Since prayer is talking to God, we do see Job finally praying in Job 42:1-6. These verses state, “Then Job answered the Lord and said, I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge? Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand,

Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Hear, now, and I will speak; I will ask You, and You instruct me. I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees You; therefore I retract,

and I repent in dust and ashes” (NASB).

The Lord did a wonderful work in Job’s heart that resulted in Job humbling himself before the Lord. How we need this instruction! Instead of complaining about our trials, let us humble ourselves before the Lord and ask what He wants us to learn from them. We read in Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”  (413.2)  (DJ)