Praying tough prayers



Job 42:10, And the Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.’

 Job was a righteous person in the sight of God. He was one of those persons about whom the Lord Himself witnessed as a perfect and upright man (Job 1:8). Yet he was tested. He lost his children and wealth within few days and was abandoned by all, including  his wife when afflicted with a painful disease. Yet Job’s hope in the Lord did not waver. His friends came to him and took effort to comfort him, but ended up giving him greaterer pain through their mocking and accusing words. After a series of dialogues of both Job and his friends, Chapters 38 to 41 of this book of Job have recorded the words of the Lord addressed to Job, which speaks about the unlimited and majestic greatness and power of the Lord. Job who was considered to be righteous now receives a deeper insight about the Lord and realizes his unworthiness in a deeper way. All questions arising in any human mindset is silenced before the display of the glory, power and majesty of our eternal heavenly Father.

As Job humbled himself before the Lord, he was accepted by the Lord and was asked to pray for his friends who had given him pain through their words. Job prayed and he was blessed twice as much as he had before. The most amazing part here is not that Job was blessed twice as before, but the fact that Job did pray for his friends just as the Lord commanded him. Praying for others is a great mission but praying for those who hurt us is a greater mission. Its worth noticing here that Job could pray for his friends without any hesitation. He did not have the need to think about it twice. It arose from his heart spontaneously even in that painful moment of life. These prayers expressed unconditional love for the friends, for Job was still in pain when asked to pray for them and he had no clue of what the Lord would do after he would pray for them. This was also the sign of complete and closer restoration of Job’s heart to God.

A wounded body is easy to be healed but a wounded heart is tough to be healed.  Job’s faith was tested. But besides, his love for his friends was also tested. And passing the latter test was the proof of passing the earlier test. If we love God with all our heart, we can surely love our friends who seem to hurt us and wound us every now and then without any hesitation. By praying for his friends, Job was allowing himself to be set free from any chord  of unforgiveness that could bind him. Unforgiveness is a fruit of darkness. Its chords always seek to bind the ones who seek to live a Godly life. And the only way to be always free from it is to keep praying for those who hurt us with a heart full of unconditional love. Praying for friends at this juncture was tough for Job, yet he accomplished it.

 Gen.20:17-18, ‘So Abraham prayed to God; and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female servants. Then they bore children; 18 for the Lord had closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.’  Here too, we see a tough situation. Abraham feared that the beauty of his wife, Sarah would make other men to snatch her away from him and he himself would be killed. This fear always lingered in Abraham’s mind (Gen.12). This made Abraham tell Abimelech, the king of Gerar, that Sarah was his sister. However, God intervened and protected them all from a great sin. Sarah was delivered back safe into the hands of Abraham and he was asked to pray for Abimelech and his family. Abraham’s prayers for this family was answered. Abimelech’s wife and female servants bore children. Here, its worth noticing that Abraham prayed readily for this family for a blessing for which he himself had been waiting for years. Are we able to pray for others with a open heart for a blessing for others, for  which we ourselves are waiting eagerly ? If Abraham could, we too can. All we need is a selfless heart, who is able to rejoice in the blessings and upliftment of others in all matters, including those matters in which we ourselves might be deprived of. Soon after this, in the very next verses of Gen.21, we witness Sarah’s womb being blessed with the promised child. Selfless prayers not only blesses the persons for whom one prays, but  also  transforms and blesses the one who prays such prayers.

Lk.23:34, ‘Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”’ This was yet another prayer, the toughest of all prayers,  prayed by our Saviour. Job and Abraham prayed when they were asked to pray by the Lord. But in case of our Lord Jesus, the deep love for us all alone caused this prayer to be offered spontaniously. His love  was untouched by the unimaginable pain which He went through while being crucified. This prayer sets free every life bound in sin and darkness. It silences all the sounds of revenge, hatred & all kinds of wickedness that can be formed in any human heart and replaces it with joy of salvation. It replaces the hard and stony heart with soft and sensitive heart, responding to the divine call.

Dear friends, let’s behold this great love and understand that we are not called to offer simple and easy prayers, prompted by our emotions and feelings, to bless and deliver all whom we love and all who might be beneficial for us in some way or the other. The Spirit of the Lord has been poured out into our hearts to pray as per His will, the tough prayers, which rips off all self centredness, which destroys all the high walled boundaries of revenge and hatred and which makes this lost and deprived mankind sink into  the deep ocean of divine love displayed on the cross of Calvary.

Prayers display a heart’s condition. Impoverished hearts give birth to impoverished and selfish prayers. But a heart feeding on God’s word and delighting in the same grows fat with God’s love and gives utterances of  endless, effective and powerful prayers. Job took care of his heart in the midst of painful loss, abandonments & afflictions. Abraham filled his heart with love for God and men in the midst of long and tiring way of wilderness. Our Lord never departed from heavenly Father’s will, even while going through the most painful sacrifice for the mankind. Prayers connects heaven to the earth . Let’s nurture our hearts with treasures of heaven in all situations, for prayers arising from such hearts has power to steer our lives from most painful times to most joyful times of life. If one is able to pray in all situations of life, one is considered to be free from all bondages. But if anything is able to stop us from praying, lets realize that our hearts are bound by the chords of concerned matter. May our hearts be set free always to pray the prayers prompted by the Spirit of God.

God bless us all

(http://thebrokenbread.wordpress.com/)

 

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