Sunday, August 14, 2016

PRAY FOR .....OTHERS

1. Job 42: 7-8: And so it was, after the Lord had spoken these words to Job, that the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has. Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, go to My servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and My servant Job shall pray for you. For I will accept him, lest I deal with you according to your folly; because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.
2. 1 Timothy 2:1-2: Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions,and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.
One of the greatest honors and privileges in life is to be asked to pray for someone.  This discussion is not about the usual “thoughts and prayers” we hear from the secular world, which is neither thinking or praying to the only Real God in Heaven – Yahweh – Who only listens to the prayers of those who are saved. What we are called to is an intentional and meaningful lifestyle of intercession or praying on behalf of others.

Two verses are selected here for a reason. First, the account of God rebuking Job’s friends in Job 42:7-8 shows that God Himself commanding His flawed servant Job to pray for this three annoying friends (Eliphaz, Bildad and Elihu) so He (God) would not punish them for not just incorrect theology, but for all the incorrect things they kept attributing to God.
The lesson we need to take from this, can be summed up with the following:
-          God places such a high priority on prayer for others that He intervene to prevent three obvious sinners from certain extreme discipline, which believers sometimes face.
-          God uses even flawed people, who hold incorrect views at time. Job himself said he knew OF God, but did not KNOW Him (Job 42:5-6)…as in have a relationship with the Father, until he was quizzed by Yahweh in Job chapters 38-41. However, while he said some incorrect things about the attributes of God, Job remained faithful . He refused to curse God “and die”, as his own wife told him to and he made a statement which still rings over the millennia. In his distress, Job said about this dire health and personal tragedy “though He slay me, I will trust in Him”!(Job 13:15)….and the immortal lines which became a great worship song “I  know that my Redeemerlives”. God loved this faithful man, warts and all,  just as He loves us in our sad estate…and God made him  (Job) an intercessor to pray for the well-being of others. Job is our example of the saint who perseveres to the end, against all odds and ends up being the go-to-guy when the Lord needs a man (or woman or child) to step up and prayer for somebody else. We should go and do likewise.

The second chosen verse above “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings (or praise reports) be made for all people” (1 Timothy 2:1) is very clear and does not need more analysis. This exhortation comes from the Apostle Paul who was personally appointed by Jesus to take the Good News, the Truth and the Word of Life to the rest of the world outside Jerusalem.  His words, teachings and lectures were already considered to be Scripture by the time Peter was writing His books (1 and 2 Peter). Peter explicitly spoke of this in 2 Peter  3:16. So it would be very wise for Christians to listen, read and believe EVERYTHING the Apostle Paul believes. Therefore what we glean from this is that one of the duties of the Christian – is to pray for others! This is one duty we should never shy away from....so let us now pray:


Our Great Father and God in Heaven,  we are so stunned, humbled, privileged and grateful that You, the Ancient of Days, would call even the most lowly like us, to pray for Your saints. What an amazing thing and paradigm to be called one of the intercessors You would listen to, just as You listed to Job when You called on him to pray for his three wayward friends (in that entire book).  Lord, help us to stay focused on the meaningful things of life, which can only be found in  Your Word of Truth; help us to avoid sin and temptation that we may be able to approach Your Holy Altar with the critical requests of others that we may not be disqualified in our prayers, but be heard by You, for the benefit of others. 

Keep us from the evil one. Keep us from all distractions in this convoluted daily noise and corruption of a perishing world. Keep us from our own selves and our tendencies to go off on rabbit trails and being lost in the weeds, sometimes even when we are praying, so that the wiles of the evil one and the Flesh will not keep us from our appointed time with You. Lord may all that we do be for both Your Glory and benefit of others.  

We can live in this world if You sanctify us in Your Truth and keep us from ourselves. We need You Father because we are our own worst enemy. The evil one has no hold on us if we don’t give him an opening. So help us to help others and by that, ourselves remain fixed on the straight and narrow and by doing so, bring Glory to Your Holy and Mighty Name, and we pray all of this in the Name that is above ALL the other names – Jesus the Messiah, amen.
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