When we think of friendship ministry, we usually picture someone coming alongside a struggling friend to be with them in their pain (Or maybe even to share encouragement from God's Word). Remember Job's friends when Job suffered unimaginable loss? "When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him" (Job 2:11).
This kind of side-by-side care is how we usually imagine friendship ministry in full bloom. And it's beautiful. But there is another aspect of friendship ministry that is just as beautiful, and just as important. And if we're honest, it's an aspect that we easily and often overlook. Praying to God for the people we love.
This week, make it a point to pray for all those who are important to you. Your family. Your friends. Everyone you care about. For some, you'll already know exactly how to pray for them because they're good at sharing about what's happening in their lives. But for most of your friends, it's easy to assume all is well in their lives. Why? Because most won't talk about their troubles. So, pray for your spouse. Pray for your children. Pray for your parents. Pray for your siblings. Pray for your close circle of friends. Pray for your coworkers and your neighbors. Chances are—even if they don't mention it—some of the people you care about are walking through some sort of storm at this very moment. Stand in the gap for them. Lift them up to your heavenly Father. Ask Christ for his touch in their lives. Petition the Holy Spirit to be a comforting presence to them. And if you're able, shoot them a short text message just to let them know you prayed for them.
Scripture for Meditation
"Then [Job's friends] sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was" (Job 2:13).
God, I lift up ____________, ____________ , and ____________ to you. Please guard them in your love and grace. Be their refuge. Protect them, care for them, provide for them, and if needed, comfort them. Thank you for your care for the people I love. Amen.