Prayer for Friends
“And the LORD restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before” (Job 42.10 ESV).
Job’s friends did a great job at knocking Job down when he was already low. Job had lost everything; and instead of encouraging Job with the truth that God was refining his already stellar character, they accused Job of having sin and claimed that he deserved what was happening to him. Instead of praying for Job, they sat and had theological debates with him, making the extremely difficult situation even worse. God was not happy with Job’s friends. In fact, the Bible says that God’s anger burned against them and their self-righteous actions. Once Job prayed on their behalf, the Lord accepted his prayer and did not react to Job’s friends according to their foolishness. In this life, we will be persecuted, and many times those attacks will come from people closest to us. However, it is in our best interest to humble ourselves and not take offense because in our humility, we will be most like Christ who gave up everything to become a servant for us (Philippians 2.7). We can call on God to redeem us and pray for those who persecute us, so God will shine His glory through our lives and reap honor in our humility.
“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves” (Matthew 5.43-44 MSG).