Praying for Other Can Set You Free

Introduction

Today we’ll consider Job’s prayer for his friends at the end of his ordeal.

Bible Reading

Job 42:5-10 I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. (6) Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes. (7) And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath. (8) Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job. (9) So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went, and did according as the LORD commanded them: the LORD also accepted Job. (10) And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.

Study

As Job’s fiery trial drew to an end, God asked him a series of questions. The point of the questions was to remind Job that God, and God alone, is the Creator and Director of His creation. He alone has the wisdom and power to do what is best. Job responded to God’s questions with self-loathing and repentance. This wasn’t the turning point in his story, though.
Next, God told Job’s friends that He was angry with them for misrepresenting Him. (Verse 7, by the way, is an important key to understanding the entire book of Job.) The Lord told Job’s friends to offer burnt offerings to Him in Job’s presence. After that, Job was to pray for them. The Bible doesn’t tell us what Job prayed, but it does tell us that the Lord accepted Job, that is, accepted his prayer for them.
Verse 10 adds an interesting note to the story. Job’s friends had accused him of pride and secret sins. They misrepresented God to Job in his darkest hour. The turning point in Job’s trial came when he prayed for these friends who let him down. “And the LORD tuned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends…” That was the turning point – when he made intercession for his accusers.
Jesus told his disciples to pray for their enemies and treat them well:
Mat 5:44-45 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; (45) That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
Could it be that praying for our enemies and accusers will be the turning point in our personal trials? In that moment, we act like children of our Father. Remember, too, that Jesus didn’t just teach us to do this, He did it under the most difficult circumstances imaginable:

Luk 23:33-34 And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. (34) Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

What About You?

  • Are you going through a trial right now?
  • Have you been praying sincerely for your accusers and enemies?
  • Is it possible that your prayer for them could be the turning point in your trials?

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