Several years ago, I was reading through the Bible for the twelfth or thirteenth time. A friend betrayed me , and I called out to God for wisdom and peace several times a day, but it was still a painful ordeal. I kept reading, greatly enjoying learning about Job’s stellar character .
Many times in the book, Job is described as, “blameless and upright, he feared God and shunned evil.” As I read those words, I stopped to pray them over my own life. I was completely awestruck by the fact that after he lost his family and all of his worldly possessions, he fell to the ground and worshiped God!
One day, toward the end of reading Job, I noticed how badly his friends treated him. They blamed him on his suffering, when in fact Satan had asked the Lord if he could test Job. Satan told the Lord that if his blessings were stripped away, Job would curse God to his face. So God let Satan test Job.
God eventually told Job to pray for the friends who had betrayed him. How difficult it must have been for Job to do so, knowing they had blamed him for his suffering! Nevertheless, he was obedient and prayed for the three friends who had violated him. Soon after, Job was blessed with twice as much as he originally had. I had never noticed this, and decided to pray for my own friend who had betrayed me. I didn’t pray that God would show her the wrong she committed against me, but I prayed for her true needs.
The next day I went on a walk with another friend,Claudia. Out of the blue, she said, “Hey, I noticed the other day that Job prayed for his friends that did him wrong, and later God blessed him.” I stopped on the sidewalk, stunned. Neither
of us had heard a message on the topic, but the Lord showed us separately this nugget of truth. “I’m not saying if we pray for people who did us wrong, God will bless us materially. I’m just saying we are called to pray for those who persecute us,” Claudia explained. I told her I completely agreed with her. Some people believe in a “name it and claim it” type of theology, which is not found in scripture, and is downright wrong.
I continued to pray for the friend who betrayed me, and eventually all my resentment toward her melted away. My heart softened to the pain in her life, and understood more why she behaved as she did. We went our separate ways peacefully, but my heart filled to the brim with joy. I thanked God for the valuable lesson he taught me through the book of Job, and make it a practice to pray for people who harm me. Thankfully, it doesn’t happen often, but when it does, I try to remember Job and how he responded in prayer when people did him wrong. This has been a gift that has offered me peace amidst pain. As you go about the ebb and flow in life, I pray that you try this technique Job used in his time of unparalled pain.