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And the Lord released Job from captivity when he prayed for his friends. Also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. Job 42:10 KJ21

Whenever we’re going through a hard time, we look to friends for comfort and support, don’t we?

The afternoon the radiologist confirmed the lump was cancer I rang the leader of our women’s prayer team and asked her to pray. Our Pastor of Women, who I also call my friend, rallied to help. With my husband on business across the country and my family three thousand miles away, I relied upon them during those initial dark moments.

As I shared the news of my illness most friends were wonderful, but occasionally someone made an insensitive comment that increased my fear instead of giving me reassurance.

Maybe they meant to comfort me, but their words added to my distress.

And so, I’m reminded of one particular character in the Bible, Job, whose friends made unhelpful remarks in the middle of his suffering.

Job’s friends judged him and his situation. They told Job the bad things happening to him was punishment from God for his wrongdoing.

God was not happy with Job’s friends. They had distorted the truth about God.

God demanded the three friends made a sacrifice.

Then, interestingly, God told Job to pray for his three friends.

Intercession for friends and family members who have wronged others is not unusual in the Bible. Moses prayed for his sister, Miriam, who’d gossiped behind his back about his wife.

This instruction, it seems, was a step in the healing process for Job and his friends, and for Moses and Miriam, too.

And so, praying for other people who have wronged us should be part of our recovery too.

Maybe you can recall an instance in your life, perhaps you are in the middle of one right now, which is hard to deal with—whether it’s a health issue, financial difficulty, or the struggle of caring for or losing a loved one.

You looked to friends to help you through it, but their words and actions have hurt instead of healed.

God’s instruction to Job is the same for us. Praying for friends who have hurt us is health-giving.

Although our initial reaction might be it’s impossible to do, yet we should try.

We don’t need to pretend and think we have to say nice things. Instead, we can work through our anger and pain in prayer. What better way than to bring our agony to the feet of Jesus who knows suffering just like we have experienced.

Bringing your fury and frustration with friends over what they have said or done to God in prayer is good for you.

Praying for those who have wronged you releases you from the captivity of your misery.

Like Job, the exercise of prayer for those who have hurt us makes us well. Praying for other people helps with their wellness too.

The exercise of praying for others is good for our health.

Read

Job 42:7-10

Numbers 12

Reflect

What kind of responses from friends are most hurtful to you?

How did Job and Moses benefit from praying for people who had hurt them?

Respond

How could praying for those you hurt you make you well?


 

I’d love to send you a free resource to help you pray for those who have wronged you.  During the 5-day Tough Love Prayer Challenge, you will learn:

  • why you are never alone in praying for your difficult relationship
  • specific prayer prompts for overcoming negative emotions
  • the benefit of breath prayer in combating stress and finding rest
  • identifying and eliminating obstacles hindering our relationships

Just click below and I’ll send you this free ebook!


Praying for those who have wronged you releases you from the captivity of your misery. Like Job, the exercise of prayer for those who have hurt us makes us well.

 

Linking up with Natalie Venegas at Salt & Light, with Susan B. Mead at DanceWithJesus, with Arabah Joy at Grace & Truth

 

  • It is not easy to pray for others when they have hurt our hearts..it is hard but in order to have a clean heart and honor our Lord, it’s something we need to do. Praying does keep our hearts soft and more pliable before God. Thank you for this so needed insight and encouragement.

    • You’re right Lureta, it’s not easy to pray for others when they’ve hurt our hearts. Praying does keep our hearts soft and pliable. Praying also allows the Great Physician to heal our hearts. 🙂

  • Praying for folks who hurt you is such a test of your faith because, well…you just don’t want to but you know God wants you to. It feels like your humbling yourself to the person,but in reality you’re humbling to the word of God. In His perfect way though, He mends our hurting heart and allows us to release feelings of bitterness. Thank you for sharing your journey.

    • You’re right Jen, when we bring our hurts to God it allows him to heal our hearts. And it is humbling. As I read what you’d written, I was reminded how Moses – who prayed for his sister Miriam when she gossiped about him – was described by God as the most humble man who walked the earth. God thinks highly of our humility.

  • This is a good reminder of something that is so hard to do, but is so necessary. We hurt ourselves and those within the sphere of our influence by dwelling in the place of bitterness and unforgiveness. We allow healing by praying for those who hurt us and insult us. Lord, please help us to do it right from now on, please. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

    • Amen, Ruth. Yes, bitterness and unforgiveness does hurt our wellbeing. It has a negative effect on our minds, bodies and souls. Hard to pray, but so necessary so God can heal us.

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