“Who can find a wife of noble character?” asks King Lemuel, a question many of us toil with today in the wake of broken relationships and a society fearful of commitment (Proverbs 31:10). In the midst of these marital and dating struggles, the same could be asked about friendships. Who can find a friend of noble character? This is a definite question to ponder as we live through a time where we’re quick to call people a friend online or in person, but when conflict arises, our supposed friend quickly becomes our enemy.
It’s no wonder why many romantic relationships fail to last in our world today. We aren’t quite sure how to cultivate the foundation of any long-standing relationship – it’s friendship.
However, there is a solution. One that’s always available to us if we simply look.
When we find ourselves confused, wondering what we can do to be a better friend, wondering how to find friends, or how to reconcile with those we have, there’s a certain someone we can always turn towards. God. He provides counsel, guidance, and peace of mind to those who find themselves in need. And sometimes what we are in need of most is a friend.
If that’s you, then may you, even for a brief time, find hope in these prayers and verses for friendship.
Here are five prayers for friendship:
1. A Prayer for Understanding What Makes a Friend
I come before you now, wondering, seeking insight, into what makes a friend. Many people come, and many people go, and sometimes I’m not sure what to call them. Especially when people leave when I want to stay, and those that stay don’t always make me feel at peace. Who do I call a friend, and who do I not?
At times I’m not even sure what makes a friend. Someone I talk to, hang out with, buy gifts for? I pray for insight in this area of my life. Help me to cultivate God-fearing friendships with those who add value to my life, those you want me to befriend. Show me how to treat people in a way that honors you and them.
2. A Prayer for Reconciling with a Friend
You know the situation, and you know the stress it’s caused. Please help us to find a resolution instead of continued conflict. Not only that, but help the relationship to grow stronger than it was before. Our friendship doesn’t have to end, at least I hope, but right now, we seem to be at an impasse and need some guidance.
God, please offer us just that and more.
3. A Prayer for a Friend You Have Hurt
You know what I did better than I do. And you know how my friend feels better than me. Please help them to forgive me. Please help us to get our friendship back on track. I apologize for sinning against you and against them. Please don’t let me lose the relationship as a consequence. Instead, help me to do better.
4. A Prayer for Finding a Friend
I am so frustrated, perplexed, and unsure of myself at this point. I’ve looked high and low, wondering who can be my friend, wondering where to go for friendship. Still, the friends, if they’re out there, they escape me.
Where do I go, Lord?
Can you tell me? Show me? Can you lead me to the right place with the right people? This life is already so hard. Please don’t make me go it alone. I need help.
In your Son’s name, I pray. Amen.
5. A Prayer for Discerning Whether Someone Should Become a Friend
Search me and know my heart. Know my confusion right now and my desire to do right. Though they seem like friend-material, I am consulting you just to be sure. Help me to not get entangled with people who won’t add value to my life, or those who I won’t benefit either. Please make the trajectory of this relationship clear, and if friendship is a bad idea, help us both to know and communicate accordingly.
Please, God, and thank you, God. Amen.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/AntonioGuillem
10 Verses for Friendship
“One with many friends may be harmed, but there is a friend who stays closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24)
Who we spend time with matters, because they out of everyone in our lives, influence us the most. Likewise, who we bestow with the label friend matters as well.
“The one who loves a pure heart and gracious lips—the king is his friend.” (Proverbs 22:11)
Are the people you call friends exhibiting a pure heart and gracious lips, or do you find yourself attracted to people for the opposite reason? Who we call a friend may differ, but as Christians, our reasons for calling someone a friend should be more similar than not.
“No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)
The hallmark of a friend is sacrifice. If you have a relationship with someone who is not willing to sacrifice on your behalf, then exactly what foundation is the relationship built on?
“Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up. Also, if two lie down together, they can keep warm; but how can one person alone keep warm? And if someone overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)
Scripture is replete with examples of one person sacrificing on behalf of another. This is an act of love and also an act of friendship. Jesus is the best example. What’s also clear is that we can’t go through life alone, not successfully. We’re bound to face trials and tribulations in this fallen world. If we do so alone, we do so to our detriment.
“Iron sharpens iron, and one person sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17)
This phrase is another way to describe the process by which one person helps another to grow.
“And let us consider one another in order to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)
More evidence is that in order to call a relationship a friendship, we must think beyond ourselves. God has placed us on this Earth to serve both Him and others, not ourselves. Moreover, we are called to come together, to engage with one another in a personal and intimate way.
“And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.” (Ephesians 4:32)
Christian friendships should follow a certain criteria, one that Scripture helpfully outlines. Resentment and hatred don’t forge friendships, not the Christian kind.
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a difficult time.” (Proverbs 17:17)
If our supposed friend is only around when we’re experiencing the mountaintops and never the valleys, then we should question both their motives and the relationship.
“I do not call you servants anymore, because a servant doesn’t know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have heard from my Father.” (John 15:15)
Similar to how Jesus brought the disciples into the truth of knowing Him, we do the same when we form friendships with others. We share with them our beliefs, values, goals, and character.
“We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)
We know how to love because of the blueprint provided to us by a God who embodies the very concept.
Friends, real friends, actual friends, those we call in our midnight hour, they’re undoubtedly hard to find. Yet, when we do, blessings abound.
Despite the difficulty in finding a friendship and the natural hurdles we face in maintaining one, friendships are worth the time and effort. They remind us that the world exists outside of ourselves. They remind us that we’re not alone in how we think or how we feel. Friends remind us to seek God, to serve, and to have a positive perspective when we see life through a gloomy lens.
Friends pick us up when we’re low and commend us when we’re high. They remind us to pause and breathe and admonish us when we need to give thanks.
Life wouldn’t be the same without them. May you find blessings in your friendships, those that exist now and those to come.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/PeopleImages
Aaron D’Anthony Brown is a freelance writer, hip-hop dance teacher, and visual artist, living in Virginia. He currently contributes work to iBelieve, Crosswalk, and supports various clients through the platform Upwork. He’s an outside-the-box thinker with a penchant for challenging the status quo. Check out his short story “Serenity.”