To be known and loved by people is vital in this world. But, to pray for them or to be prayed for by them, that’s a hint of Heaven.
How do we help our friends? We write cards, send flowers, and bake casseroles in times of need. We help them move furniture (clearly an act of love because moving is brutal). We carpool or babysit. We listen and counsel.
But, the most powerful way we are called to support our friends is to pray for them. James 5:16 says, “So confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great effectiveness.”
My circle of friends is somewhat like an onion. The outermost layer is the largest, but I only know those people socially or superficially. Each deeper layer reflects a smaller group of people that I know better. And the inner circle is my tightest group of friends—small in number, protected, deeply known.
The interesting thing about praying for our friends is that we can apply it to anyone. We can pray for the Godly friends we hope for but haven’t yet found. We can pray for our acquaintances in broad terms. We can pray for friends regardless of whether the relationship is solid or fractured. We can pray for friends regardless of political beliefs. We can pray with them or without them knowing. We can pray with our friends who are believers, and we can (and should) pray for our friends who remain lost.
I find myself being most fervent in praying for my dearest friends because they share their lives with me—the good but also the ugly details, the struggles, the worries. I like being able to pray in detail for specific needs.
What a gift, an honor, a privilege, and a responsibility to be invited into their lives, trusted with their secrets, and able to lift them before God.
“Carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).
“Above all keep your love for one another fervent, because love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without complaining. Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of the varied grace of God” (1 Peter 4:8–10).
Be a place that’s safe for people. Be a good steward of their secrets. Be a sounding board with wise counsel. But, above all, be a believer who passionately prays for your friends. Let’s storm the gates of Heaven for each other. I’ll start:
Dear Heavenly Father, I lift all of the women reading this before You. I ask that You would bless the Love God Greatly community to provide authentic friendships for these women, despite any geographical or language barriers which may exist. I ask that You would create pure hearts within us, guide our faith, give us wisdom, grant us discernment and protect us. Thank You for the gift of friendship; help us put our love into action, through prayer. Amen.
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