I stood in my friend’s foyer and greeted guests as they came in. Some mingled and others ate from the buffet in the dining room. They were arriving from the funeral home located a block away.
My friend was also greeting guests, but she wasn’t offering them food or having delightful conversations. Instead, she was accepting condolences for the passing of her beloved father-in-law. She loved this man, and I knew she was in a lot of pain, which is why I chose to be with her that day. I could not lessen her grief but I could be there for her. I could pray for her.
She and I met in grade school over 35 years ago. Since that time, God has blessed our friendship that has taken us on a journey through the emotions of being teenagers, the excitement of becoming young women, and the trials of getting older.
Jesus knew the importance of having friends. He spent a lot of time nurturing and growing relationships with the disciples.
One of the greatest gifts Jesus gave to His friends was prayer.
He taught them how to pray in Luke 11:2-4.
“Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.”
He showed them how to pray in Matthew 26:36.
“Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray.'”
Then He prayed for them in John 17:11.
“I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, protect them by the power of Your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.”
After Jesus’ death, the disciples followed his example. In Ephesians 1:17, Paul prays for his friends in Ephesus.
“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.”
Just as Jesus and disciples prayed in the New Testament, we also need to pray for our friends. We belong to the family of God but that does not mean we have an easy life. When we get down to the nitty-gritty of life, it can be hard.
Your friend may have specific needs, but don’t wait until she asks you to pray for her. Lift her to God in prayer every day. Pray that your friend will:
- Obtain knowledge and understanding of the Father’s love.
- Receive wisdom and strength in her Christian walk.
- Understand right from wrong.
- Remain steadfast and unwavering in her faith.
Let’s become cheerleaders, encouragers, and supporters of our friends just as Jesus does for us.
Related: Keep a special prayer journal just for your friends with this set of two beautiful journals: Good Things