“After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before.” (Job 42:10, NIV)
Praying for our friends (particularly when they have rubbed us the wrong way — as friends are in an excellent position to since they are close to us and know our crimes and inconsistencies) can be a difficult choice.
In Job’s case, his friends began well at the beginning of his afflictions: They came to Job and sat with him for a week, saying nothing, but being present just the same. Then, they began to give advice. It was sincere advice, but it wasn’t intelligent advice. Their advice grieved Job.
At the end of Job’s ordeal, it was time for reconciliation. Job could have borne a grudge but, in obedience to God, Job prayed for his friends.
We can do our friends no greater service than to take what all we know of their crises, burdens, fears, and joys to the Lord in prayer. (We impede the work of God when we choose to gossip, pontificate, and prognosticate about the situations of our friends.)
Pray for your friends, as only true friends can. – Luther