In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. (Luke 6:12 ESV)
Day 23: Praying for Friendships
The Lord created us, as people, to crave relationship. Our deepest longing is found in Him, and our most important relationships are with our family. But friendships are another gift from the Lord.
If you enjoy sweet friendships, then today’s prayers are for those relationships. But if you find yourself in a lonely season, where schedules or distance make friends seem far away, then these prayers are a request- that God would provide companionship this year where you could both encourage and be encouraged.
- Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. (Philippians 4:3 ESV)
Christian friendship results in laboring “side by side” in ministry for Jesus. Working together for the Kingdom multiplies our strength and divides our weariness.
- A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24 ESV)
Friends can be as harmful as they can be helpful, so discernment is vital. Do our friends help us walk closer with Jesus and serve Him? Do they encourage us to persevere in marriage and child rearing?
- Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. (Proverbs 13:20 ESV)
This Scripture reinforces the previous point. If you have wise friends that encourage you to run hard after Jesus, then take time to praise the Lord today. If you realize, however, that you are pulled away from the Lord through your friendships, it is time to take stock. Let’s ask the Lord today for wise friends who would build us up.
- Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. ... Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel. (Proverbs 27:6, 9 ESV)
It takes a deep, trusting friendship to have the courage to be honest. If our friends would not feel comfortable exhorting us when we are making poor decisions, then we need to ask the Lord to help us be brave enough to ask for that counsel. To have a friend who would love us enough to call us out, is a gift without measure.
- Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, and told them to seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions might not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. (Daniel 2:17-18 ESV)
One of the benefits of godly friendships is that we have constant prayer partners. In the book of Daniel, when faced with impending doom, Daniel goes to his three friends and they prayed together all night. I believe God designed us to be most effective as community, not as individuals.
- And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.' (Luke 15:9 ESV)
Another benefit to good friends, their presence multiplies the joy of celebration. Romans 12:15 instructs us to rejoice with those who celebrate and weep with those who cry. Showing empathy displays true friendship.
- Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. (John 15:13-15 ESV)
Jesus is our greatest example of a friend. He calls us friend and loves us completely. He lived His earthly life in relationship with His disciples, and He laid His life down for them and for us. Who would Jesus have for us to lay our lives down for this year?
Prayer Day 23
- A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. (Proverbs 17:17 ESV)
Thank You for Your great love for us and Your deep friendship. That You, the Creator of the universe, would call us friend is mind blowing. I don’t understand it, but I thank You for it. I want to be a faithful and loyal friend to You this year.
Lord, I ask for godly friendships. I ask You to help me be a friend who is faithful and true and who lays my life down. If there are those around me who need my friendship, please open my eyes to see where and to whom You would point me.
Please point out to me friendships that draw me away from You, rather than toward You. Help me to influence that friend more than he/she influences me. I ask You to provide godly relationships that encourage my heart and help me love and follow You better.
I also ask You to help me be humble enough to accept words of correction from friends. Please give me friends that would be faithful to point out faults that would lead me astray. And Lord, please help me be brave and loving to do the same for friends who are struggling.
Jesus, show me how to pursue relationships that honor You. I long for friends with whom I can pray and with whom I can rejoice. You created me with a heart that longs for that, so I ask that You help me see where I can cultivate those relationships.
Please help me this year to be a friend that reflects You. Thank You for the friends I have, but I also ask You to please put more godly friends in my life. May we encourage, exhort, and love each other. And through the leading of the Holy Spirit may we be honest and forthright when needed.
To Your glory and the expansion of Your Kingdom!
Godly friendships matter because they display to a hungry world what a Jesus-kind-of-love looks like. I pray your life abounds with beautiful, edifying friendships in 2017!
- Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 ESV)