[Oops! If you came here today 6/7/17 from my email list, I meant to send you here: The Battle of Living By Faith Sorry about that! Happy reading.]
I have to tell you this story.
When I first got saved some relationships in my life changed. Friends didn’t seem interested in hearing about how Jesus saved me and blah blah blah. We started growing apart, and I actually lost friends.
It felt uncomfortable, and as a person who values friendship I wondered what would happen. My soon-to-be husband asked if I had prayed and asked God for friends.
At first it sounded a little desperate. Besides, I had no trouble meeting people.
But it wasn’t just about meeting more people or about making more “friends.” It was about praying for the right people; about having friends who God knew would be good for me.
How Do You Pray for Friends?
I asked God if He would bring loving Christians into my life. I didn’t know what else to pray, so that was it. And despite the words, I believed God knew the desire of my heart.
But how would it happen, and when?
Months went by and not much changed.
It was around then that my husband and I started looking to connect with a local Christian married couples group. We were newly married and our church didn’t have one at the time. We found a Christian church nearby that had one and asked if we could join them sometime.
We ended up loving the people in the group so much that we checked out their church. Welcoming hellos turned into warm hugs and invitations to dinner and ministry events and movie nights. When I first prayed for friends I imagined one or two, but in the course of a year, we gained an entire church family of 50+ people.
After a few years we felt called to move across the country. We looked forward to the new adventure, but I thought I’d never make friends like that again.
Our beloved church family sent us off with prayer and blessing, and hugs and kisses, but my heart was a little broken.
And So I Prayed for Friends… Again
The first year was a little lonely. I was that mom at preschool who no one recognized. I entered situations hopeful and excited, thinking it would be easy to make new friends, but nothing really happened. I didn’t connect as much with my old friends as I had hoped, but I trusted God had something in store.
Once again I prayed for friends. But this time I knew it wasn’t a desperate prayer… it was a necessary one.
While I grew impatient at times, sad and even a little depressed, it was important to wait for the right people. It was a quiet time of prayer and waiting and drawing closer to God.
The first place I met a new friend was at church. It’s a church with thousands of members, which sounds like a great place to meet friends, but sometimes it’s hard to get to know people well when everyone is coming and going. But at the end of one service in particular, a woman in front of me turned to leave with her husband, and there we stood after a great time of worship, both brushing away tears from our cheeks. We looked at each other and just laughed. Three years later this is one of my dearest friends– but so much more than a friend. This family has become our family, and ours theirs. And one of the hallmarks of our relationship is laughter!
We continued meeting more and more brothers and sisters in Christ over the years–at church, kids’ parties, Bible studies and even just walking in the neighborhood–and as I’m writing this, I feel beyond grateful for the amazing women and families and friends the Lord has brought (and continues to bring) into our lives.
It’s by God’s hand that we meet these chosen friends. Encouragers in the faith.
Have You Prayed for Friends?
If you think that these things don’t happen to you, believe this: You can pray and ask your Father in heaven who loves you for friends.
There is no secret to what I described above. I had a desire for Christian friends, so I asked God. You can too.
It says in 1 John 5:14-15, “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”
Could you use support in a certain area of your life?
Have you been burned by friends in the past and feel resigned to go it alone?
Do you long for a mentor or for more diversity in your friendships–friends of different color, ethnic background or life experiences? (YES, I have prayed for diversity in my friendships and YES, God continues to answer this prayer too!)
Ask God for friends. He knows exactly who you need and who needs you.
Because all good things come from God.