And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he had prayed for his friends; and the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. Job 42:10 NRSV
Job is rewarded once he has prayed for his friends. God has asked the friends to offer up seven bulls and seven rams and for Job to pray for the men. The prayer that God requests Job to pray is for God not to deal with the friends according to their folly. For God has admitted that Job understood God best; it was the three friends who had it all wrong. They would have been better off keeping silent.
The issue is not that Job prays for his friends but that, in the act of prayer, Job is forgiving his friends for their hurtful words.
Have you ever been hurt by a really good friend?
It takes a lot more to reconcile with a good friend than with an acquaintance. This is because our friends know us best and they can hurt us the most.
Do you have any "former" best friends that need your forgiveness? What kind of offering would help to heal your friendship? How would you best pray for them?
Or perhaps you are one of the friends who needs to ask for forgiveness and to give an offering. Are you courageous enough to do this?
Remember that Job is rewarded because he forgave his buddies. What kind of reward do you think God will give to you if you reconcile with your friend?
God, whether we need to forgive or ask for forgiveness, help us realize our own folly in keeping estranged from our friends. May your healing power come upon our relationships. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims