Healing—when you pray for your friends

There is a story in the Old Testament that is filled with challenges to the human spirit. Yet at the same time it is a story rich with lessons of steadfast devotion, of patient love, of triumph in adversity.

The book of Job tells of the physical suffering Job confronts after losing almost everything that is precious to him. Nevertheless, he remains faithful in his love of God; and as the Scriptural account of his experience concludes we learn that Job's health is restored, his life renewed. The Bible offers this illuminating comment: "And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before." Job 42:10.

Perhaps this verse from the Old Testament holds a valuable lesson for some today who may be seeking healing and who haven't yet found their freedom from suffering. Could it be that Job's experience points to a fundamental requirement of spiritual healing: to do what one can to turn thought away from one's own predicament and toward God, and to pray in a way that selflessly blesses all mankind?

Vital gratitude
May 19, 1986

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