About the Author

Afton loves living connected, especially during the storms of life. She writes about it in her book, Storm Sisters: Friends through All Seasons.

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  1. Afton,
    I belong to a group of women like you described in your post. We call ourselves “The Perseverance Posse”. We HAVE persevered and gone through a lot of things with each other. We’ve rejoiced with each other and cried with each other and yes, we’ve prayed. We’ve prayed in peculiar places like parking lots, but like you so beautifully said, prayer should be second nature to us. When fire, stop, drop, and roll. When trials, stop, grab hands, and pray. When I am able to pray with friends it is like a weight being lifted off my shoulders. I know that my burden is being carried by more than just me and there is beauty in that. Where two or more are gatherer, there will the Lord be also. Two or more praying together – now THAT’s powerful. Thanks for a wonderful reminder…
    Blessings,
    Bev

  2. Afton, I love this. Oh, if we knew the measure of prayer’s power. — Those friends who pray with you — they’re keepers. 🙂 I’m getting ready to start up a group for moms to pray for their older children. The Lord put this on my heart over a year ago. I’ve been praying about it since, and am finally getting ready to put it together. The name on my heart for it is “Influence.” It’s so easy to feel like we have no influence on our adult children’s lives, but — Oh, the influence of prayer. Praise God for the comfort and power of prayer. — Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • What a great idea! I read this yesterday in my Morning and Evening Devotional book by Charles Spurgeon: “As artists give themselves to their models and poets to their classical pursuits, so must we addict ourselves to prayer. We must be as immersed in prayer as we are in the air we breathe–and pray without ceasing. Lord, teach us so we may be more and more powerful in prayer. “

  3. Love this Afton! Years ago I had two friends I prayed with once a week. One time during a particularly tough season, I arrived at that time and said, “I can’t pray. I don’t like God today.” My friends were so gracious to accept me where I was and pray for me-it carried me through that time. I’m speaking at a retreat in a week, and one of the topics is that our souls need others-this is such a great example!

      • Afton thank you for this inspiring post. I love how you prioritize your friendships, and allow them to be real and deep. I share your joy in friendships with 4 other ladies. We are blessed to connect weekly. These friendships have truly caused each of us to grow personally, relationally, and in our relationships with God. Thank you for these words that draw us in to your delightful experience. 🙂

  4. Growing up I had a hard time learning to trust. Long and short my mom was my only parent in my teen years and she was paranoid of everyone – all I heard was that I couldn’t trust anyone. By the time I was in my early twenties I realized my lack of trust wasn’t normal or healthy and by Gods grace He began to pull me out of it. Slowly and faithfully over the past ten years He has been teaching me trust and friendship like you share in this post- about being real with those people who He has given me and trusting them enough to share my heart .
    This is another reminder to me to press on and continue to build heathy deep friendships . Thank you!

    • So glad to hear about God’s good work in your heart. Reminds me of Psalm 40:2: “He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

  5. This definitely touches a nerve with me because I want to be more intentional about praying with friends “for no reason” — just because we’re together.
    On a similar vein, I’m finding the glorious truth that when I pray out loud even when I’m alone with God it helps me to keep my focus and stay on track. There’s just something about hearing those words — no matter who we’re with — that reinforces the reality of His ears hearing our words!

  6. Actin,
    I rejoiced when I read words – that you have a core of true friends you love to be with and share each others’ lives – without fear.
    I would love to have friends close to me that were like that. As an evangelist’s wife for 25 years, then pastor’s wife for 22 years, I have tried to find trustworthy friends, only to be betrayed time and again. The result? I have trust issues. I am afraid to trust again or become vulnerable. You know this creates a deep void to not have someone you can openly share with, but on occasion, God has sent someone to be my friend and what a blessing.
    Would your core of friends pray that I will be able to find a network of friends I can interact with? I know God cares.
    Thank you for your uplifting blog today! I draw encouragement from it!

    • Dear Jesus, you created us to be better together so I ask you, please, to provide a friend for Sue. You know the ache of her heart and her unique ministry situation. How grateful we are that you know our hearts and our situations and you hear our prayers. We trust you to provide. Amen!

    • Afton , I did just what the Bible said , I was going through tough times in my marriage and with my family and I was having thoughts of an affair , so I confessed my sins to someone I thought I could trust with my feelings trying to avoid any sin so she an I could pray together and in turn she told my husband and pastor ~ I don’t trust women or men and im afraid of being judged for the things I have done ~ yet I live with this guilt and shame ~ I pray for a non judgmental friend in my life whom I can share with ~

    • Sue, bless your heart I can certainly relate as a pastor’s wife. My husband has been in the ministry for 25 years and it can be quite lonely. Especially because it can be difficult to know who you can trust. I’ve been blessed by 4 other women who have been meeting with me weekly since a retreat we experienced together two and a half years ago. Our sole purpose is to be heart friends. One woman takes it upon herself to ask each person “How’s you heart?” Sometimes we don’t want to deal with our heart . . . I’ve certainly had my share of that feeling. We each have been growing in our relationships with ourself, each other, and God. It has been such a deep blessing for each of us. I knew God was calling me to share this idea with other women . . . to provide some resources and ideas for connecting. I lead a conference this past November on this very topic. In fact we had many attending and wanting it to be longer. So we are doing another conference in April which will be two days instead of one. Your comments Sue are reminding me that pastor’s wives have particular needs that I will need to keep in mind. Let me know if you are interested in learning more about our events. If there’s any way for me to help you connect with a network of soul sisters I would be delighted to do so. God bless you Sue!

    • Sue,

      Praying God will erase the trust issues. Praying He sends some good, solid friends your way. It isn’t always easy to have good friends you can trust. Sending my love your way.

      ((((((Hugs))))))

  7. Afton, you could have been describing me. I meet with three other girlfriends regularly and they have taught me that’s it’s OK and actually a witness to pray out loud, in a noisy restaurant, with anybody watching. Thank you for reminding me what a gift that is. Blessings!

  8. Afton
    Such an encouraging reminder of bearing one another’s burdens.
    After reading “Storm Sisters”, I’ve been more adamant about being a friend who’s present. Your shared moments spur us on.

    Thank you

  9. I like how you related that prayer should come as a second nature to us, just as the response we have been taught to fire. I also read somewhere the quote “make prayer like breathing”, and in a unit on prayer with my K- 5th graders at church, I shared the phrase with them. They have their own God language and really didn’t even need much explanation. Oh if we could all understand that in ALL things our first and natural instinct to anything in life would be to take it to our Heavenly Father:)

  10. What a blessing. This is truly His gift because I have dear friends but I am down on the list of all their to dos and must haves. But I have 2 that will drop everything to be the hands and feet of Jesus even at Christmas.

  11. What a great idea, for friends, neighbors and family. It should be at least once a month. And I love the perseverance posse.

  12. I love to pray for my family, friends, neighbors and strangers! I pray anywhere, anytime…..I wasn’t always comfortable praying in front of others or even at the dinner table, but the more I prayed the easier it became. I have started writing out prayers to God on my i-Pad and I send them to the people who have ask me to pray for them. I always make it personal to the person I am praying for and I make it clear that God knows exactly who they are and the reason they need prayer. It blesses me to know there are many ways to pray for others. I consider it such a privilege to be ask to stand in the gap through my prayers❤️ PRAYERS ARE POWERFUL!

  13. Afton,

    I, too, have a group of five friends who meet together once a month. We call ourselves “The Final Five” as we are the final of the original five who worked at the office. Four of them have grown children. We talk about life-everything. We know it’s safe and nothing will be put on Facebook, Etc. We pray for each other. Feels good to release our burdens.

    I have prayed out loud and it keeps me on track, but also let’s the devil know who is in control. I remember a time when dating my husband. He asked me over to his house. I was scared. Turning on my radio the song “God is in Control” came one. They were getting to the chorus. I sang it out loud and with conviction “God in in Control”. Right then a sweet peace came over me and I knew God was there always watching me.

    Blessings 🙂

    • Love that you have a name for your friend group. 🙂 And love that you pray out loud too. Always good to sing loudly “God is in control,” don’t you think?! Cheering you on in life and friendship.