Job is usually — and worthily — lauded for his patience which does bring about a reward. But Job went through many doors to get to the inner chamber of his heart — the interior of his soul. His troubles — and they were many — had brought him to his knees in sackcloth and ashes.
He had nothing except a few friends who disputed with him, heaping guilt and their opinions and advice on him. Job was captive to his circumstances and there was no way out. His friends as much told him so.
Job tried to mount his own defense. But when the Satan attacks, he always provides reinforments for his evil. And these reinforcements turned out to be friends. With friends like those ...
The story of Job is an example for us. Notice that restoration for Job didn’t begin until he prayed for his friends. His disputing with them didn’t bring comfort, consolation or restoration. It took God’s mercy which had a work in Job’s heart to throw off the captivity that he found himself in.
Praying pleases God — not disputing. In James 1:20, we read that the wrath of man does not work the righteousness of God. It is intercessory prayer — prayer for others — that brings the blessings of God.
Wasn’t Job suffering enough. Did he need “friends” to examine and analyze his condition and surmise the cause of it? Did he need finger-pointing and labels imposed upon him? Maybe.
Finally Job realized his friends needed prayer? And he need to pray for them. Whatever circumstances you may find yourself in — it’s time to pray. Get away from making yourself the central subject of prayer. Self-centered agonizing doesn’t bring the blessings of the Lord. Job could very well have become angry with this friends. He could have said, “I don’t need to hear this from you — you’re wrong!”
But God did a work in Job’s heart. And it was only then he was able to come out of the prison of circumstances and live again. God gave him twice as much as he had before. But only after he began to look outward and “pray for his friends.”
If we wait patiently for the will of God to work in our lives, we will move toward that happiness we desired from the first. We don’t lose anything when we trust God.
If enemies are a problem, pray for them. When friends are part of the problem, pray for them. When circumstances are insurmountable, pray for the situation. Intercessory prayer is not the “poor pitiful me” kind of praying. Intercessory prayer is not a pity party that we share with God. Intercessory prayer is not telling God what is wrong in your life. It’s humble prayer done in absolute faith in behalf of other through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Hand to hand, I wrestled ‘til the daybreak;
In sweet agony of intercessory prayer.
But my faith is reaching Heaven
And I feel His presence now
And if I keep holding on,
A blessing I will share.