Praying for friends sometimes makes you feel vulnerable. There is a marked difference in asking a friend how they are doing and what they are praying for. The latter is a much deeper thought. In fact, sometimes it’s too deep to handle. If your friendship has become more superficial because of time or distance, knowing the deeper level stuff might catch you off guard like it did me.
One Friday morning, I was texting my friends to ask what they were praying for so I could pray for them too. I started feeling empty. I had thoughts like: “I can’t do this” and “knowing what all my friends are going through is too much.” It hurts me. But I prayed anyway.
Prayer: Lord, I checked in with the friends I pray for each week but I feel empty. I have prayed but it doesn’t feel like I’m giving, it feels like prayer is taking – taking my emotional energy and leaving me feeling empty. Life seems harder when I know people’s prayer needs. Life seems more fragile. Oh Lord, what is going on?
God’s Word to Us: Life is fragile. Yours is too. To see someone’s insides (what they are praying for) is seeing a deeper part of them and you’ll have to get used to it. Their vulnerability in sharing their needs with you is making you feel vulnerable too. I will cover over you today. You feel it already. Thank you for being willing to pray for your friends – My friends. I will answer your prayers.
“Come to Me,
all of you who are weary
and carry heavy burdens
and I will give you rest.”
My Heart’s Cry was to try to understand why I was feeling so empty and vulnerable in praying for my friends on a deeper level. Knowing their hurts hurt me too. I love them and care about them. Life is fragile. Because of my love for my friends, it’s worth working through these negative feelings I may have from time to time. Along with praying for their needs, I need to be aware of my own sense of vulnerability and feeling overwhelmed. On the other hand, YOU, dear Lord Jesus, never feel vulnerable or overwhelmed by our problems because YOU are God! YOU have all power, wisdom, and all the resources needed to solve every problem or situation.
Praying for a friend is like giving them a gift. Remember, praying for someone is talking to God on behalf of that person. What a wonderful opportunity this is! You get to say things like: “God, my friend really needs wisdom in knowing what to do at this point in her life. She’s confused. Can you help her figure that out? Show her what would be a good thing for her to pursue right now. Thanks.” Below are some ways your prayers can help your friends.
Things to Remember When Praying for Friends
- Prayer encourages friends. A friend knows she’s not alone when she has a friend praying for her. It’s an encouragement to her. Last year, I was down so much of the time because of health issues. I had one friend check in on me daily to see how I was doing. She always included that she was praying for me. This was such an encouragement to me. Sometimes I was too weak to pray for myself. Thankfully I had a faithful friend who hung in there and prayed for me daily.
- Prayer unlocks people. Our friends can get stuck, just like we can. Prayer helps unlock attitudes, habits, and situations. This week when I asked my friend what she’s praying for, she said she’s working on a project. She’s praying to maximize her time and pray against distractions. When I started to pray for her I saw a picture of Jesus with a sword slaying the distractions that were coming at her. I was able to tell her about the picture I saw. Now she has a visual that God is on her side and is dealing with these distractions that keep coming against her.
- Prayer frees people from fear. Fear paralyzes people. I do not want it to paralyze my friends. No, not on my watch. And yet it’s one of Satan’s biggest weapons. It’s a weapon against our mind, our thoughts. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” I have personally suffered from fear. So much so, one of my friends used to call me “Much Afraid” which is the name of the main character in a book called: “Hinds Feet on High Places.” The author is Hannah Hurnard. Through my friend’s faithful prayers, encouragement and a little laughter here and there, I felt I was not alone in my journey out of fear into peace and faith in God. Jesus was healing me!
In closing, I want to draw your attention to the last part of “God’s Word to Us.” “Thank you for being willing to pray for your friends – My friends. I will answer your prayers.” God wants us to pray for our friends because they are His friends too. He loves them and wants the best for them too. He also said He would answer our prayers. The quality of life for our friend’s relationships, emotions, and situations goes way up because of taking this step to pray. Don’t we want this for our friends? So be a friend, take time to pray for them. It matters.
Live a life that is blessed by being a blessing to your friends.
Pray for them!
P.S. My last blog Praying for Friends really goes with this post. Take a moment to read it too.
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Matthew 11:28 & 2 Timothy 1:7 NTL