"Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony" (Colossians 3:12-14).
When I speak to churches or talk with others about my book, Closer Than a Sister, I often hear of longing for close connection and friendships with others in the church. I know that longing well. Let's take our longings to the Lord, the one who supplies all our needs.
When I read in your word about the relationship between your children—about what it looks like and what it means to be a brother or sister in Christ—I feel a hole in my life, a vacuum where such friendships belong. I want those kind of relationships described in Scripture. I desire friends who will walk beside me in the ups and downs of life, rejoicing in my joys and grieving with me in my sorrows. I want fellow believers who will meet my needs when I can't meet them myself. I need friends who will exhort and urge me on in the faith, who will remind me of what's true—even if it hurts. I need friends who will disciple me and train me, helping me see how the gospel applies to every area of my life.
I want and need gospel friendships.
Father, you are the provider of all good things. I pray you will bring gospel friendships into my life. I pray you would open my eyes to see people who need me to be that friend for them. Help me to be the friend I desire and long to have. Help me to seek to serve my brothers and sisters in Christ. Help me to walk beside them in their trials and suffering. Help me exhort when needed, forbear weakness, forgive offenses, and bear burdens.
Forgive me for the ways I have let friends down in the past. Forgive me for making friendships about me and my needs and failing to consider the needs of others. Forgive me for idolizing friendship and finding my meaning and hope in them instead of in you.
I thank you, Jesus, that you know what it is to be lonely and without friends. Your closest friends left you when you needed them most. When friendship is hard and when they are filled with conflict and when I feel all alone, help me to remember you—my forever friend who never fails me and never leaves me.
Father, above all, I pray I would treasure Jesus as my truest and perfect friend. Help me to abide in and rest in my union with him. Help me to find my hope and joy in him. As he fills me with his love, may I then seek to share that love with others. May my friendships grow and thrive out of the overflow of my friendship with my Savior.
Because of Jesus I pray, Amen.