“My servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept his prayer not to deal with you according to your folly.” (Job 42:8)
When Job is struggling with his suffering and is desperately questioning why God let all this happen, his friends are of no help. They come with general, theoretical answers about God’s response to sinful behavior, without really paying attention to Job’s defense that he has not committed any sin. They judge him unjustly: “Is not your evil abundant?
There is no end to your iniquities … Therefore snares are all around you, and sudden terror overwhelms you” (Job 22:5,10).
God blames them for their harsh words and heartless attitude. He says: “My anger burns against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right.” (Job 42:7) But then something special happens. Job prays for his friends, and God accepts his prayer. He does not punish the friends, but forgives them.
Job has been utterly frustrated with his friends: “miserable comforters are you all”! But he nevertheless proves a faithful friend. He intercedes for them in prayer, asking God for forgiveness of the wrong they did him.
Do you pray for your friends, even when they have treated you badly?