When I blew out my birthday candle last year, two words cried out from deep within me. Joy. Friendship. As I closed my eyes, my birthday wish became my daily prayer.
I have said many prayers in my life. I have prayed simple and short requests and long, eloquent strings of phrase. I have whispered and cried and screamed in my car, alone with God. I’ve checked boxes of types of things to pray to be “right” in my prayers. I’ve casually asked for a parking spot and I have begged and pleaded with my forehead pressed on a cold, hardwood floor.
Friendship was a different kind of prayer. It was not just a deep longing or emotion to pour out in words or tears. It was not just some event or thing that I wanted. It was both. Every day I would pray, sometimes hopefully, sometimes casually, and sometimes pleadingly:
God, give me a friend.
On my birthday this year I had all but forgotten that prayer which consumed me for months, until the doorbell rang. Someone had sent me flowers! I set them on my counter and went to the gym where someone else brought flowers to bootcamp for my birthday. I got home and as I walked up to the doorway carrying my flowers I realized someone had dropped off flowers on my doorstep. A couple of hours later a dear friend came to pick me up for dinner with a table full of friends who I love and am well loved by, and as I opened the door to let her in she handed me flowers.
I never get flowers. I laughed out loud, like Sarah the wife of Abraham. Promises too good to be true, each bloom like a firework to celebrate and monument that God sees me and hears me and he answers prayer.
If we want friendship, prayer is the best place to start. If we want fearless friendship prayer is the only place to start.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed. -Psalm 34:4-5
We have all been hurt by friends. Even if we pray, there is no promise from God that our friends won’t move away or talk behind our backs or reject us. He promises us two (better!) things: he will take away our fear, and he will take away our shame.
My answered prayers for friends were mostly through friends I already had. I changed far more than they did. Where there was awkwardness I was able to forgive and move forward. Where there was jealousy I was able to appreciate and admire. Where there was already abundance I was able to have gratitude. My fear of being hurt or let down and my shame of not being perfect floated away distantly in the wake of my prayers.
There is joy in friendship, there is freedom in being fearless.
May your prayers allow God to speak love over you, to assure you that you are seen, heard, and ever present on his mind. As you speak your longing and dreams into words before him, may your face show the radiance of a woman who has learned the worthiness of being unashamed.
Fearless Hearts in Action: An invitation to invest 15 minutes in yourself on your journey to Fearless Friendship
- Find a quiet place and time to talk to God. This could be in the early morning, nap time, or evening, inside or outdoors. Try to choose a time and place where you can have 15 uninterrupted minutes.
- If you find that your mind wanders easily (like mine!) have a pen and paper or journal on hand. Consider writing out your prayer as a journal entry. If writing feels like it would slow down your thoughts, try praying out loud. Sometimes God speaks to us when we see or hear our own words that we bring to him, and both approaches help keep us on track in the conversation.
- Tell God you are trying to find him, that you want to bring him your heart and your voice and you want to hear his heart and his voice in your conversation.
- List your fear. Your hurt. Anything that makes you feel unworthy. Be honest. Be emotional. Think aloud.
- Tell God your desires. Friendship? Love?
- Allow there to be silence.
- (Optional) Read Psalm 34:4-5 again, or all of Psalm 34.
- Ask God to rescue you from anxiety, insecurity, and fear. Dare to ask him to make your face radiant.
- Pray everyday this week. On purpose, at a set time. Bring back your fears and desires each time. Listen. Be loved.
This post is the first of a 5 part series on Fearless Friendship. Thanks for joining our conversation!