A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. Prov. 17:17 (NIV) Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble. Prov. 13:20 (NLT) A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Prov. 18:24 (ESV) As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Prov. 27:17 (NLT)
Dear heavenly Father, I treasure the gift of friendship more than ever—good friendship. I neither want to grow older and alone, nor older and more foolish. Thank you for the friends you’ve put into my life who love at all times: The times when I’m easy and fun to be with, and the times when I’m a “pill,” disconnected, and would otherwise choose to isolate myself.
Thank you for friends who can just as easily horselaugh with me, as sit with me when I am overwhelmed with grief and disbelief; buddies who love to fish for men and fish for fish; a gospel posse that knows how to lash one another to the mast of your mercy and grace, when the siren of sin is tempting and seducing; colleagues in kingdom dreaming and servant loving.
Father, by the grace and truth of Jesus, make me a better friend. I want to offer a sharpening presence in the lives of my “buds”, not a dulling one. I don’t want to make it easier for my friends to sin, but more likely that we’ll love Jesus more and more the longer we walk together. You haven’t called us to fix one another as friends; but neither have you called us to fertilize foolishness in each other’s lives. Help me to know how to call out your glory in my friends—to encourage them and all the more as we see the great Day of Jesus’ return approaching.
Father, thank you that Jesus is a friend of sinners—the real and only friend that sticks closer than a brother. May his love, grace, and glory shape all my friendships and all my “friend-ing.” So very Amen I pray, in his tender and triumphant name.