My prayer list is full. At this very moment, I have so many friends and family members who are going through serious trials that it’s downright discouraging. Health problems, job loss, relationship issues, financial stress. You name it. So many who are hurting. So many who need my prayers. Yet, I find my prayers focused on myself and my own personal struggles. I pray for others. I pray for these needs on my heart. I do, but if I’m honest, I must admit that I don’t pray for them with as much fire and zeal as I do when praying for my own trials. Neither do I spend as much time in prayer for others as I do for my own needs. And so, with these many burdens on my heart this morning, the Lord gave me a verse–a rather convicting verse.
“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.” (Job 42:10)
Notice with me the first half of that verse: the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends. For 42 chapters, Job has been whining, complaining, despairing of life and defending himself against his friends. He has blamed God, questioned God, and downright accused God of being unfair. But Job also did a lot of praying, a lot of pleading on his behalf. He begged God for healing. He begged to be released from his misery. He hoped to finally see an end to the lonesome valley God had placed Him in. Yet, his prayers seemed to go unanswered. That is, until Job got his eyes off himself and instead started praying for his friends. Then, and only then, did God turn the tides.
We all have troubles. I get that. I really do. But maybe if we spent a little more time in prayer for others, our problems wouldn’t seem so bad. In fact, maybe they wouldn’t be so bad because God would turn the tides for us just like he did for Job. Who knows? But what I do know is that we can’t go wrong in spending a little more time in prayer for others. Don’t we want others to do the same for us?
Who do you know that could use your prayers today? What else could you do to help bear another’s load?