The first chapter of Job describes the central character of this book as a man who was not only “blameless” and “upright” before God (:1) but as one who loved his family, and ministered to them spiritually. Verse 5 says: “When the days of feasting had completed their cycle, Job would send and consecrate them, rising up early in the morning and offering burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, ‘Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.’ Thus Job did continually.” Job’s habits challenge each of us to follow His example of intercessory prayer for loved ones:
First of all, Job models concern for his family regarding spiritual matters. He was not content to merely “live and let live”, but had a heart for his children’s spiritual condition. This led him to offer sacrifices and intercede with God on their behalf. We should each have that same kind of concern for our loved ones, and let it drive us to pray and intercede with God for them as he did.
Job also models some important elements of intercession:
— It says he rose up “early in the morning”. Good intercessors get up early to walk with God in prayer, and to lift up their requests for their families and others.
— He prayed for “them all.” He was thorough in his requests, lifting up each child.
— And it says: “Thus Job did continually.” He was consistent in his commitment to intercede for his family. He had the attitude that Samuel exhibited in I Samuel 12:23, “Far be it from me to sin agains the Lord by ceasing to pray for you.”
The example of Job should challenge us to pray similarly for our families: be concerned for the spiritual life of each of your family members; get up early, and pray for each of them, continually!