Friday, June 24

The Power of a Praying Friend

After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before. --Job 42:10

I have found that I have a much easier time praying for my friends who are committed Christians than I do for my friends who have drifted from their relationships with God. There are some people in my life who, even after going to church together for years, I've been tempted to believe that my prayers for them won't make much of a difference.

Job was a much better friend than I. He faced so many challenges and trials and didn't even have the support of some decent friends. His closest friends, even his wife, were full of free advice about how he should handle the heartbreaking difficulties with which he was being tested. If I had been in that situation, I think I would have totally written off those so-called "friends" who didn't understand what it meant to be totally committed to God.

Job prayed for his friends. He didn't write them off, he didn't lecture them about how to be a good friend, and he certainly didn't distance himself from them emotionally. Even with all he was going through, he remained committed to God and to his friendships. If Job had told them to kiss off and never come back, they never would have been there to see God do remarkable things in Job's life. As an added bonus, Job's friends were not punished for their own bad choices when it came to their recent spiritual behavior.

In thinking about this part of Job's story, I am reminded that God's power is revealed in ways we might not get to see. However, in the case of a praying friend, God's power can be very visible and impactful to those who may have forgotten what His power looks like. In God's eyes, there's no such thing as a lost cause, and it's my responsibility as a Christian and friend to continue praying.

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