[Oops! If you came here today 6/7/17 from my email list, I meant to send you here: The Battle of Living By Faith Sorry about that! Happy reading.]
I have to tell you this story.
When I first got saved some relationships in my life changed. Friends didn’t seem interested in hearing about how Jesus saved me and blah blah blah. We started growing apart, and I actually lost friends.
It felt uncomfortable, and as a person who values friendship I wondered what would happen. My soon-to-be husband asked if I had prayed and asked God for friends.
At first it sounded a little desperate. Besides, I had no trouble meeting people.
But it wasn’t just about meeting more people or about making more “friends.” It was about praying for the right people; about having friends who God knew would be good for me.
How Do You Pray for Friends?
I asked God if He would bring loving Christians into my life. I didn’t know what else to pray, so that was it. And despite the words, I believed God knew the desire of my heart.
But how would it happen, and when?
Months went by and not much changed.
It was around then that my husband and I started looking to connect with a local Christian married couples group. We were newly married and our church didn’t have one at the time. We found a Christian church nearby that had one and asked if we could join them sometime.
We ended up loving the people in the group so much that we checked out their church. Welcoming hellos turned into warm hugs and invitations to dinner and ministry events and movie nights. When I first prayed for friends I imagined one or two, but in the course of a year, we gained an entire church family of 50+ people.
After a few years we felt called to move across the country. We looked forward to the new adventure, but I thought I’d never make friends like that again.
Our beloved church family sent us off with prayer and blessing, and hugs and kisses, but my heart was a little broken.
And So I Prayed for Friends… Again
The first year was a little lonely. I was that mom at preschool who no one recognized. I entered situations hopeful and excited, thinking it would be easy to make new friends, but nothing really happened. I didn’t connect as much with my old friends as I had hoped, but I trusted God had something in store.
Once again I prayed for friends. But this time I knew it wasn’t a desperate prayer… it was a necessary one.
While I grew impatient at times, sad and even a little depressed, it was important to wait for the right people. It was a quiet time of prayer and waiting and drawing closer to God.
The first place I met a new friend was at church. It’s a church with thousands of members, which sounds like a great place to meet friends, but sometimes it’s hard to get to know people well when everyone is coming and going. But at the end of one service in particular, a woman in front of me turned to leave with her husband, and there we stood after a great time of worship, both brushing away tears from our cheeks. We looked at each other and just laughed. Three years later this is one of my dearest friends– but so much more than a friend. This family has become our family, and ours theirs. And one of the hallmarks of our relationship is laughter!
We continued meeting more and more brothers and sisters in Christ over the years–at church, kids’ parties, Bible studies and even just walking in the neighborhood–and as I’m writing this, I feel beyond grateful for the amazing women and families and friends the Lord has brought (and continues to bring) into our lives.
It’s by God’s hand that we meet these chosen friends. Encouragers in the faith.
Have You Prayed for Friends?
If you think that these things don’t happen to you, believe this: You can pray and ask your Father in heaven who loves you for friends.
There is no secret to what I described above. I had a desire for Christian friends, so I asked God. You can too.
It says in 1 John 5:14-15, “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”
Could you use support in a certain area of your life?
Have you been burned by friends in the past and feel resigned to go it alone?
Do you long for a mentor or for more diversity in your friendships–friends of different color, ethnic background or life experiences? (YES, I have prayed for diversity in my friendships and YES, God continues to answer this prayer too!)
Ask God for friends. He knows exactly who you need and who needs you.
Because all good things come from God.
I am so glad I found this site. I found it one night when I was desperate , weak and broken . It has helped me and continues to help me. it has never occurred to me to pray for friends because as stupid as it sounds I feel like God has more
important prayers to answer to but now I am starting to understand that I have been wrong and I talk to God now a lot. It could be because I need prayers answered but I am hoping that I would eventually get to the point where I don’t forget him when I am happy or busy.
Jenn Johns says
I’m glad this has been helpful for you! I’m so blessed to know that.
And I know what you mean about praying for friends seeming like such an insignificant request. I thought that way too once, but now I can’t imagine not praying about it. Maybe if it happened once someone could think it was a coincidence, but as I see this happen over and over, and not just in my life but in others’ lives, I believe praying for faithful friends is in line with God’s will for our lives. The friends in our life isn’t a small deal. These are the people who influence us, support us, encourage us… God wants the best for us and if we ask Him, He will provide it.
Having Friends is one of the biggest mistakes i have ever had, the only friend i ought of having is only Jesus Christ.
Jenn Johns says
Ruddy, Jesus is the the friend who will never leave us, that is for sure.
Stay encouraged on friends… God will bring you the ones. During His time here Jesus had friends, and He loved them. Even in that, one of his friends betrayed him. Your comment brings to mind a question. In Matthew 22:34-40 when the man asked Jesus what was the most important of all the commandments and Jesus responds: 1) to love God with everything and also… 2) to love others as ourselves. How do we love God and love others without neglecting one for the other? God bless you!
THANK YOU SO MUCH I NEEDED THIS SO BAD. GOD MUST HAVE LEAD ME TO THIS SITE I NEVER PRAYED THIS TYPE OF PRAYER BEFORE.GOD BLESS YOU.
Could you please pray for my daughter Sophia who is almost 12 yrs old, in middle school. She is shy and is having social problems, making friends. I am heartbroken and need some extra support praying to God. Please pray she makes a positive change and develops the strength to make friends and be happy. I pray for confidence and self esteem to help her thrive like a normal child does. Thank you, and I ask this through Jesus, the son of God to our father. Amen from Claudia
Such a good article. A very good friend of mine had a conversation the other day and she said, ” She would like to have couples as friends. We always are friends with the wives and not both.” I agreed, When I got married I hoped for that and still do. It is very important for this. My husband only wants to be around his family and to me, they are not trying to sharpen iron. I will have to start and keep praying.
Jenn Johns says
Yes! That’s great! Especially for men, there’s a great sense of accountability with other Christian male friends. But as couples you can do dinners and other fun outings together. Some churches have Married Couples Ministries, which in my opinion is a great place to meet other faithful couples, some of which can become great friends. God bless you!
I’ve known this and prayed for friends often, but have an idea that sometimes I just might be missing the true value of what (and who) He places right in front of me. I need to start paying attention and listening more closely! And being open to being a friend to that person who may be asking for the same thing. But I still long for that one true friend — besides my husband, sister, and daughter. 🙂
Jenn Johns says
Nanci, when were first started meeting Christian friends at the one church, they brought each other meals during hospital stays, new babies and times of struggle. They arranged ministries and outings, women’s Bible studies, mom’s groups and nights out. I never experienced that before, and it taught me to do the same for others. In the course of making friends I was also learning how to be a friend.
But yes, there is that one friend that sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). It’s a true gift. Maybe that person’s already in your circle, or maybe you’re yet to meet her. It’s a great thing to keep in prayer. God wants us to be strong together. Thanks for sharing 🙂
I am so happy to have read this! I recently became much stronger in my faith about 8 months ago when I had a moment with Jesus after lots of prayer and studying the Bible and accepted him into my heart. I had been through a tough transition period. During this period, I learned to rely on the Lord like never before, and I became much stronger in my faith. I woke up every morning and prayer for direction and read my bible. I began to see the lord working in my life! It was amazing to see the lord dust me off and make me new again- He pulled me out of depression and bitterness!
About 10 months later, God put a wonderful Christian guy in my life! His family is amazing- they are all Christians and so wonderful! They encourage me in my faith and praise the Lord in all that they do. Now I am just struggling as we prepare to get engaged with my side. My friends are big partiers- lots of fun in their own way- but they do not follow Jesus with their whole hearts. They have been wonderful friends for a long time. Now- I find that being around them pulls me away from folllwing Jesus. My family is this way as well.
The issue I am struggling with is he guilt that I feel for my separation from them. My boyfriend lives in a different town and as I grow in my faith and in my relationship with him, I have naturally become more and more distanced from them. I do not want to party and drink as much because those activities don’t bring glory to the Lord, but that is how my friends and family pass the time. I want them to be active in my life and in my new wonderful relationship but They make me feel so guilty about changing after I have found Jesus… they tell me I am being “preachy”, call me a hippocrite, and call me fake (both my family members and my friends do this). Some have told me they do not want to be around me anymore. I know that the Bible tells me to love the Lord first above all else. How can I deal with the guilt I feel? Has anyone else felt this? I want to hang on to these relationships that I have worked to build and have had for so long, but I am really struggling Because not a single one of them talk about following the Lord. If I talk about praying or a great devotional they take on an attitude that is defensive and tell me I am being “holier than thou”. I do not want to walk with people who are not following Jesus anymore, but my friends mean the world to me. Has anyone else struggled with something similar? With love, Lola
Jenn Johns says
Hi Lola. I struggled with that when I first accepted Jesus into my heart too. When I understood the Good News I just wanted to share it with everyone, but it seemed weird to those closest to me, and I could tell there was zero interest in hearing about it. I wanted to do more to get involved at church, but it wasn’t something many of us shared in common. Here’s a post about it from a few years ago: http://goingbyfaith.com/losing-friends-gaining-faith/
Meeting more Christians made a huge difference. I suddenly had outlets to have conversations and fellowship that really nurtured my soul and felt spiritually satisfying. So when I was with my friends/family who didn’t share the same faith, I could be with them and love them and accept them without expectations. And yes, some things will change as a result of the change in you… you may not feel like hanging out around drinking and partying as much; you may feel more sensitive to vulgarity and profanity, etc.; you may not be drawn to some of the same things anymore, but that’s not a bad thing. This verse really helped me understand: “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:14). I pray you find and maintain common ground and common interests to spend quality time together with your friends and family… and that your family in Christ continues to come into your life and surround you for your Spiritual walk, nourishment, encouragement and confidence. God bless you!
Jenn, Natasha here again. Going through this exact season. After my baby, I feel so cut off from social life and suddenly feel so lonely, cause everyone is so busy, including my few Christian pals. I’ve been doing exactly what you did, praying for God to bring friends into my life. But for now I’m just leaning on Him although it does get a bit tough at times. But I know one day it will happen. Your post was encouraging. Thank you!
Jenn Johns says
I’m so glad this encouraged you Natasha! I didn’t know many people who went through this when it was happening to me, but now I realize how common it actually is. God hears all of our prayers, even the ones about friendship. Especially friendship. Take care and God bless you 🙂
Thank you Jenn! I sense the love of Jesus from your kind words and encouragement. I accepted Jesus in the last two years. It was a great life changed and especially getting to know God in a much deeper level. However, one of my greatest struggle, I let go all of my friends who doesn’t know God even I shared my testimony of how Jesus saved me they started turning their back on me. The reason I stopped being around with them because I’ve noticed any time I spent with them I just naturally started to feel discouraged and fall away from my faith in Christ. Anyways I believe I’m in the safe path where God want’s me to be but sometimes I needed a friend not just friends I met only at church, groups and that’s about it which only determined by circumstances but a friend whom we can build a close and geniun love together.
Thank You for this message. I also have friends who have different beliefs about God. They’d chosen their dreams instead of God’s glory and they’d chosen religion over personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Three years ago, I’ve witnessed exactly how they’d rejected the good news of Jesus Christ shared by the street preacher because their reason was, they have different teachings and we, including myself, respect each other’s religions. At that time, I was a lukewarm Christians yet I have nothing to do to make them believe because I, myself, didn’t live as what Christians supposed to live. Now that I turned to God and steadfastly following Jesus Christ, I can feel things similarly to what you’ve written on your previous blog about your old friends. I tried to testify the work of God in my life and one of them took it as a joke and claimed it as part of an emotional imbalance which I would remember God for the meantime and forgotten Him afterwards. I’ve tried to reach out for some of my friends and always pray to God for their salvation yet some tried to distance from me after knowing my intention. I was a little bit impatient and at the same time, a little bit sad for I know what will happen to them if they refused to know the Truth and because I love them, I want them to be saved. God wants all people to be saved yet people choose their path.
As a babe in Christ, truth hurts yet need to do it as part of taking up your cross. Now I know the reason why believers shouldn’t be unequally yoked with unbelievers. I might get stagnate if I continue to give my full time with them yet God will always provide us friends and family which helps you to grow spiritually. No need to hate them or whatsoever yet they’re still in my prayers because I know there’s nothing impossible in God.
Thank you so much for sharing your story. God Bless
L G says
I was really touched and encouraged by this as the a Lord has started to thaw my heart out towards desiring companionship with others, where that wasn’t there before. I’m nervous, as I have trauma relating to others, but your words give me hope.
Thank you so much I have noticed recently friends for many years are just disconnecting from me. I do feel sad I really do but I also see they do not add value to my life…I would have hoped they would have seen something of Jesus in me….is that why they are off!!
Thanks for this article. Am happy I saw it while trying to know how to pray for a true Christian friend. I desperately need a close friend, a best friend. I pray that God will truly give me a true,real and God fearing friend.
Hey Jenn I just stumbled upon your page from this post ! I keep and have been praying and praying for friends for about 2 years now and sadly not one has come into my life. At many times I get extremely discouraged and don’t understand why God has not placed a friend in my life. Although I have God I want a best friend so eagerly especially because I am still at a young age (20) and I see everyone around me hanging out with their friends and doing things I wish I could do if I had friends and it frustrates me so much. All I need is one friend that’s all. This post made me feel a bit better knowing that other people have gone through the same thing. I ask you to say a prayer for me to be able to encounter with people and finally find friends. Thank you for your positivity!
Jesus Corella says
Ever since I went back to the lord I’ve lost friends, not that I had many. I pretty much insisted in keeping them close to me for comfort even though they weren’t loyal. I felt if I was loyal to everyone I would have prosperous friendships, but I was wrong. As soon as I came to Christ the few that were still around disappeared. All of a sudden I’m an OutKast to them but the one who I should kept my loyalty to since the beginning was there waiting for me with open arms. Christ is paving my way and clearing out my path while I’m focusing in spiritual things and feeding my soul. He cleared away those who where holding me back and will replace them with brothers in Christ. All glory to god
I have prayed for friends and came across a mom social group. Heavily Christian influenced but a mixed bag. Loved it until I suspect unbelievers began to cause trouble.
Over the course of a week, lost all the acquaintances I met there. Also, the people in my life went ghost right when I got scary news at the Dr.
Close friend just cancelled playdate and stopped texting. Childs father (co parenting relationship) got very distant. Relatives seemed to be disinterested. None have truly followed up on my health status. I tried to join new Christian apps but they won’t download for some reason.
I have Jesus so I don’t draw my strength from man but I am incredibly lonely. I am starting to feel like even God is pulling back. Realistically I know better but it’s the loneliness speaking. I’m seriously contemplating moving to the mountains away from these fake friends who only like me when I’m supporting them.
But then I wonder for all of this to happen at one time, it’s either a spiritual attack or Gods telling me to lean in more which concerns me because I literally obsess over Him and He doesn’t exactly speak to me on cue. The waiting is lonely. Part of me feels like God is removing the emotional debris from my life by having people cut me off so I can fully focus on Him even more, which I’m cool with.
But the loneliness is getting unbearable to the point where I’m getting paranoid that everybody hates me and are spreading rumors about me. I mean to be soo excluded from every person you know it just seems like a big production… yeah paranoia, I know.
So I’m wondering is it wrong to think that God is isolating me for a reason? Or should I lay this squarely on the plot of the enemy?
If emotional strengthening is the game, I’m not winning. ☹
Also please pray for me.