After a difficult week of doing the hard work sometimes required in marriage, I picked up my phone to find a voice message from a friend. A few months before, we made a covenant to pray for one another’s marriages weekly. That week, I didn’t feel like praying. Hope seemed too far away. However, as she prayed, hope traveled the hundreds of miles from her home to mine. Without knowing how much I needed it, she took my tender heart to Jesus. When I couldn’t pray, she prayed for me. Her prayer spanned the gulf between my darkness to the light of Christ.
The faith of a friend is a powerful force. When we feel like we can’t go on, a friend gives us the support we need to persevere. Be it a friend in real life or a connection across the miles through technology, our friends can carry us through unimaginable difficulties.
The support of a friend comes in all forms. Meeting for coffee and a heart-to-heart provides a needed outlet and loving feedback when our emotions become too much to handle alone. In times of physical trials, friends show up with the practical assistance of prepared dinners and help with household chores. Friends walk us through difficult decisions, help us untangle tricky situations, and make us a laugh on a hard day.One of the most powerful things friends can do for one another is pray. #friendshipClick To Tweet
One of the most powerful things friends can do for one another is pray. I often feel helpless when a long-distance friend goes through a crisis. I would like to swoop in and provide heroic help in the form of comfort food and bear hugs. Prayer seems like such a small act of service. In reality, it is a force which opens up the heavens and moves mountains. Friends discover a deeper intimacy when sorrows are shared and faith-filled prayers are offered. To say, “I’ll pray for you,” to a friend says, “I may not know what to say or do right now, but I will take you to the One who does.”
Luke 5 gives an account of the miraculous power of the faith of a friend. A large crowd prevented a paralyzed man from meeting Jesus. A band of believers lowered their broken friend through the roof in order to get him to the feet of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he not only healed his body, he also healed his soul. “And when he saw their faith, he said, ‘Man, your sins are forgiven you'” (Luke 5:20 ESV).
Not too many weeks after my emotional crisis, an avalanche of physical and emotional setbacks left my friend feeling a similar defeat. She shared her despair with a few trusted friends. We called out to her as she suffered in the darkness. When she felt like she couldn’t pray, we prayed for her. She didn’t have the strength to whisper Jesus’s name, so we shouted it for her. It was a privilege to lower her through the roof to encounter Jesus just as she had done for me.
Sometimes a friend is so broken, they can’t get themselves to Jesus. The faith of a friend can make all the difference. When their hope is lost, we hope for them. The prayer of a faithful friend has miraculous potential.
Have you ever had a friend bust through the roof to get you to Jesus? Are you that kind of friend? We all have our moments of extreme brokenness, and we all have opportunities for extreme bravery on behalf of a friend. Being candid about our deep needs can be scary, but this kind of vulnerability leads to a deeper intimacy. Friends need to know our needs in order to pray, and the faith of a friend can make all the difference. Let’s be transparent with our needs and generous with our prayers!
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