During the torment of Job at the hands of Satan, he did not suffer alone three of his friends came to comfort him and even debate Job as to why this had come upon him. Such is life we get away from the spiritual and turn to the intellectual for making a point versus helping a friend. Only God and Satan knew why Job had to suffer and it had absolutely nothing to do with any of the reasons put forth by Job or his friends. However his friends came to his side in a time of need and each chose to reason with Job but neither chose to pray for him.
“For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him” (Luke 11:6). Life is a journey, happiness is a journey and it is often said that success is a journey any or all may be true. The Christian prayer life is a journey it has a beginning, middle and an end. We begin to pray when we feel that there is a need or a desire to communicate with God whom we want to hear our prayer. Sometime a friend will find himself at wits ends and it seems to the hurting soul that God is not listening, this is the time your friend needs you to listen and pray.
In today’s world of high-speed, high-tech and high self-sufficiency we are all too impatient with our friends. Rather than asking how can I help, we ask what happened to you? “A man that has friends must show himself friendly, and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). Listening to the needs of others is one thing, looking out for them is something else. There are many things we can offer our friends, neighbors or strangers we meet at the local fast-food eatery and one of the simplest is prayer. There is no obligation to always have something to set before your friend you sitting there is more than enough.
The night before Jesus was crucified He set things in order with His disciples in preparation for His departure, some they understood others they did not. I can imagine our first reaction would be like Peter’s; “Lord you cannot wash my feet” also, we like Peter would have that cleared up for us by the Master. “But I have called you friends” (John 15:15). Jesus prayed to the Father for His disciples because he knew their needs were great and the compassionate act of washing their feet was only the beginning of their needs in His absence. Our friends are very similar.
“I pray for them, I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me, for they are thine” (John 17:9) Jesus and Job had two things in common, friends that had a need and an unshakeable faith in God. When the need was greatest both turned to God in prayer and the burden of their torment was turned. We have the opportunity every day to share this common faith in God, as well as, the common interest of friends that God has given us. Jesus said “Thou has given me” acknowledging friends are a gift from God and offering prayer is a gift to God.
One line from the hymn “What A Friend We Have In Jesus” brings the concept of true friendship, care and prayer into perspective; “Can we find a friend so faithful, Who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness; Take it to the Lord in prayer.” Today there is a friend somewhere that needs you to pray for them and if you really want to show that you are a dear friend and willing to follow the example of Jesus, pray a specific prayer for them and not for the world or yourself, “but for them which thou has given me.” Be blessed and bless someone in Jesus’ name.
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ