"And the LORD restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before." Job 42:10
As I read this verse this morning, I had one predominant thought rolling through my mind. I wondered about Job's prayer for his friends. What exactly did he pray? What did he say in his prayer that found such favor with God? Unfortunately, we have no idea, as it's not written in the Bible what Job prayed. But we do know that these friends of Job had just finished spending days berating Job. Literally, one after the other, they spent time telling Job how worthless he was- and also time trying to convince Job to blame God for his troubles. Really, by the time the book of Job is drawing to a close, these friends really aren't seeming much like friends. They're really behaving more like enemies.
And yet, Job obviously prays for them. We may not know exactly what he prayed, but when he did pray for them, he did something that pleased God immensely, and it says right here that when he prayed, God restored Job's losses. His prayer unlocked something and opened up the doors for God to bless him.
So what do we do when confronted with one of these friendly enemies? I know we all have them. We all have people in our lives who exasperate us in one way or another. We all have those people, who, no matter how hard we may try, we just don't see eye-to-eye with, and they trouble us. What do we do about these people, other than just try to learn to deal with the exasperation that comes from them? We take a lesson from Job, here, and pray for them. Simple as that. Of all people, Job certainly could have just walked away from these friends. He could have sent them away and told them never to return for all the awful things they said, and yet, Job chose otherwise. Job prayed for them, and because Job prayed for the people who were causing him grief, God blessed him- and blessed him abundantly.
"Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before."
Prior to Satan's meddling in Job's life, Job was a very well-to-do man. He had an abundance of riches, livestock, land, servants, family, and overall well-being. Job had a great life that Satan stirred up and stole. But in the end, when all was said and done, not only did God give back that which the enemy stole from Job, God doubled what Job originally had.
There's a lesson here. A simple one, but one that is probably difficult to learn and activate in reality. When someone really offends us or causes us grief, our response should simply be to pray for them. Our response should not be to confront them or debate them or talk about them with other people- our response should be to simply pray for them, and ask God to bless them and forgive them for their errors. It sure sounds simple, but actually putting this into play can be so incredibly difficult. But think about the larger implications here. Think about the church as a whole, and how frequently church splits or divides have come. These splits come as a result of disagreement between people- and also as a result of gossip, which is usually disguised as a discussion. The church as a whole could see healing and forward progress if each and every one of us would stop and simply pray for those who are against us. Truly. Think about the difference we could make if we started praying for each other instead of talking about each other.
Simply put, we need to pray. We need to pray for those who trouble us. Whether that be an annoying neighbor who mows their lawn at an insanely early hour, or that person at work who is always in your face and criticizing you. Instead of any other action, we should simply pray for them. And in the grand scheme of things- isn't prayer the easiest option anyway? I mean, really, how long does it take to really pray for someone- a few minutes maybe. So much easier and efficient than letting their actions or words stew in us all day long. Let's just pray for one another and start a whole new kind of revolution. The Prayer Revolution.