DEVOTIONAL DAY 5 – PRAY FOR OTHERS
…After the Lord had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has. So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.”
So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did what the Lord told them; and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer. After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the Lord had brought on him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring. The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. Job 42:1-10
The bible begins by describing the characteristics of Job. It says he was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. For this reason, God had given Job prosperity and sheltered him and his family. However, one day he lost everything he had ever owned, including his children.
Not only had the devil taken his family and wealth away from him, he afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head.
In chapters one and two, the Bible gives us a summary of how Job’s life was before his afflictions and it also tells us how all his problems came about.
The next chapters talk about his misery and pain. It tells us about his struggle with faith, repentance, self-blame, acceptance and how, in all that, Job still worshiped and never cursed God.
Job’s friends were good people; they were there for him. They prepared food for him, they prayed for him, they fasted – they wanted their friend to feel better.
However, after praying and fasting for Job without seeing any results, watching him struggle, they begin to doubt God and said things about God that were not true.
As a human with many flaws, I can totally understand why they would doubt. I can see why they would begin to question God. In my lifetime, I have also seen many people struggle, going through difficult moments in their lives but in faith. You see them struggle with their faith but they never give up and I ask myself, ‘Why is God not answering this person’s prayer? How can God allow such a thing to happen to this person and why is he not changing this person’s situations’
There are so many questions that we don’t have answers for.
After you have done everything that you were told to do to see the power of God, yet nothing happens, you can find yourself in the same position Job and his friends find themselves in.
The book of Job is full of questions, in fact, when I read it, it looks like Job and God were at each other’s throat. One moment Job is worshiping God and the next he is questioning his faith and God’s power.
There are moments where he believes God is close to him, there are moments when he thinks God can’t even hear him.
Many of us find ourselves in situations like this one, where our faith is tested and where we pray for mountains to fall, yet they won’t budge.
We are at the standstill, prayers and fasting don’t seem to be enough – we cry out to God and all we hear is nothing.
This is what Job was dealing with. He had reached a place where he didn’t know if God would ever make him well. His friends couldn’t understand why he was still praising God. His wife even told him to curse God and die because it was better to be dead than to live the kind of life he was living.
However, the ever-faithful God showed up. Right here, God’s name own and character is on the line. When God’s name and Character are on the line, He will show up, He will defend Himself; He will prove that once again He is God. He tells Job how angry He was at him and his friends for saying all these untruthful things about him.
But God tells Job that they should go and make a sacrifice. After that, He tells him that he should also pray for his friends and that He will accept his prayer.
Job goes ahead and prays for his friends. He is praying for mercy because he now knows that they are in trouble with God. He prays that God will not deal with them according to their folly. The Lord accepted Job’s prayer.
After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before.
Praying for others is one of the most powerful prayers you can do for yourself.
If you find yourself in need and wanting a savior; If you have been praying for a certain thing in your life and you feel like your prayers are not being answered, if you have a hopeless case that everyone is asking you – why do you still believe in God anyway- if you find yourself in that place – pray for others. Pray for someone else in trouble.
I believe in this because after long-suffering and many conversations with God without getting any answers. Job prayed for his friends and soon after his prayer, he was made well. The bible says the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before.
We may be in trouble and we may even feel like we deserve more prayers and compassion. However, this passage shows us that sometimes other people may need our prayer more than we do. The break though we have been waiting for may be waiting for us behind our selfless and sacrificial prayers for others.