What does it mean to be a friend? Generally, friends are more than mere acquaintances. Rhymezone defines friend as “a person you know well and regard with affection and trust.” I believe friends are beautiful gifts from God.
Friends love each other, but what does real love consist of and why should we love each other?
1 John 4:7, 10-11 (CSB)
Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another.
John tells us that we need to love each other, because love comes from God. I believe loving each other includes being there for someone no matter what the circumstances. Friends will listen, pray and speak words of life to encourage each other.
A friend can help us see our potential and also point out strengths and weaknesses. We remind each other that weakness is not a bad thing. God works his strength through our weakness, as he explained to Paul.
Friends Pray for Each Other and Build Each Other Up
I love our Beloved Prodigal team and count them as my friends. We have shared prayer requests, songs and scriptures to encourage and build each other up. Sometimes we have special prayer times via Skype. We pray over each post before it is published making suggestions, if needed.
Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.
As I got to know some of the team members before joining, I was drawn in when I saw how they loved God. Bettie, Joy and Anna have spent countless hours in prayer, emails and instant chats with me. We have been able to encourage each other as we listen to God and share our hearts.
As I’ve learned more about each team member I see how we all have discovered the importance of prayer and trusting in God. We may not do it perfectly all the time, but God understands. He sees our weakness and He loves us anyway, granting us mercy and strength and forgiveness.
Without judgment we see each other right where we are. We are ready to pray, encourage and point each other back to God, the One who deserves our trust and praise.
A song that comes to mind is one by Ken Medema. I think he is referencing the church, but it also reminds me of how we can find safe places with friends who love and care.
As we build each other up in Christ, His light grows in us. His Spirit works in us and that light flows out to others as we share love and lend a helping hand.
When we have been refreshed with the living water that Jesus offers, we can lead others to the well that never runs dry. We can “offer a cup of cold water” in his name.
So much more could be said about friends. I’ve only mentioned some of my closest friends that I have online here at Beloved Prodigal. They have meant a lot to me as we have spent time praying for each other this past year, and our relationships have grown. I believe these friendships are just as important as my local friends.
There is one Friend we all can have. He is always waiting for us, ready to listen and to guide. His name is Jesus.
Proverbs 18:24 (CSB)
One with many friends may be harmed, but there is a friend who stays closer than a brother.
I hope you have friends who are there for you, who will pray for you and always be truthful and loving, helping you to be your best self. Always remember that Jesus is the friend who will never leave but always loves and forgives, giving us strength and wisdom.
There is an old hymn called “What A Friend We Have in Jesus” which I think illustrates the kind of Friend Jesus is. This is a simple but beautiful arrangement.
Would you pray with me?
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for first loving us and teaching us how to love one another. Thank you for the beautiful gift of friends who love and care, who encourage and pray, who love you and want to share that love with others.
Help us to be a friend to others, a safe place where they can come for encouragement and a listening ear, someone who will pray for and with them. May each of us find friends that will always be there for us and may we be that kind of friend.
Most of all I thank you for the gift of your son, Jesus, who gave His life so we could be free. Thank you that he now lives and intercedes on our behalf and will never leave us. Thank you for the gift of your Spirit, who lives within all believers. May your light shine through us in our daily lives.
In the name of Jesus, I pray,
~Gayl, for Beloved Prodigal~