Andrew was preparing to serve as a missionary to Latin America. His kids picked up Spanish pretty quickly – but not Andrew.
He was walking through town one day with his family, when a local man recognized him to be a missionary and he approached him with an urgent request. Andrew heard him out, but he perceived that the guy was looking for a handout.
So, Andrew tried out his Spanish. He said, “No.” (which in English means “No!”) The man persisted and Andrew told him no again. They went back and forth until the guy finally walked away in frustration.
When Andrew returned to his family, his son asked, “Dad why did you do that?” “What do you mean?” he replied. “That man was asking you to pray for him, and you told him no!” Oops!
Hey – it’s tough to learn a new language!
It reminds me of an episode from the book of Job about prayer. Job had three friends who came to sit with him and then counsel him when the bottom had fallen out of his life. Their names: Eliphaz the Temanite, Zophar the Naamathite and Bildad the Shuhite – pronounced “shoe height.” (He must have been short.)
These guys had gravely misrepresented God by arguing that Job’s troubles came because he had sinned, and God was therefore punishing him. But this was not true so at the end of the story God confronted them with the consequences for their lies.
The Lord told them to offer an atoning sacrifice for themselves and then ask Job to pray for them. The Lord said, “and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly.” Job 42:8. – KJV
This is some amazing stuff. God intended to punish them for their sin, but the prayers of Job for them were necessary for them to escape the wrath of God.
My, My! I think of the many people in my realm who have yet to trust Christ as their Savior. They too will someday face the wrath of God. The Scripture tells us that the wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23)
So, to what degree might their fate rest on my prayers for them? Does God expect me to intercede and pray that they might come to Christ and be forgiven?
I’m reminded that Jesus prayed in that way, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do?” – Luke 23:34.
I don’t really know what to think about such things – except that God sure put stock in the prayers of Job for his flaky friends. I guess I should pray too, and I do.
My wife and I keep and pray from our prayer journal 4-5 times a week. And the names of many who are yet without Christ are recorded there and are lifted in prayer. We have been interceding for some for over 50 years.
The Lord forgave Job’s friends, and then He did something special for Job. Job 42:10 says, “So the Lord restored what Job had lost after he prayed for his friends, and the Lord doubled all that had belonged to Job.” – NETBible.com
Once Job had prayed, the Lord decided to restore what he had lost before and then double it. Wow! Now I would not suggest that the Lord will do exactly that for us when we pray – but I am certain that He does shed his manifold blessings on the one who prays.
The world of the lost is seeking our prayers- they just may not know it. Let’s pray anyway.
A PRAYER: Lord I am fairly certain that many prayed for me to come to know you, may I do the same for others.
This has been Jim Johnson and pickleheavenpress.com
May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
Unless otherwise noted, the Scripture passages are from the NETBible.com