Written by Christi-Anna Boyer, Women’s Ministry Coordinator
Who was your first childhood friend? What made that person your friend? Maybe it was the good times you had together, or risks you took together, or even the way you both liked the same sports or hobbies. Whatever it was that drew the two of you together, it created shared experiences that led to a connection and a deeper understanding of each other.
Everyone desires to have friends. Jesus Himself had relationships, even best friends, and others with which He was investing his time. He had friends with which He laughed, traveled, and shared meals. Jesus also confided in his friends and asked them for support through prayer in some of his darkest hours. These shared experiences created friendship of the deepest kind.
“My people” have been there for me unconditionally and have supported me through prayer, encouragement, and love. They have also called me out, challenged me, and re-directed me. I have several core groups of people that I have found to be essential in my life: mentors (I’ve had several over the years), best friends, spiritual co-laborers, and the people I have strategically chosen to invest in, pray for, teach, or encourage. All of these people are irreplaceable. I have found that if I try to remove one or more of these people groups from my life, I begin to feel less purposed, less disciplined, less known, and even useless and frustrated at times; however, there is harmony in my life when all “my people” are part of the rhythm of my life.
The Father created us as human beings to be in community with one another, both for our own personal health and development but also for the sake of living in the context of gospel community for the greater work of the body of Christ. There is an innate desire to know and to be known, accepted, and loved. Relationships, in the context of the gospel, have the ability to spur us on towards spiritual health and life. So who are “your people”? What does your “gospel community” look like right now?
I want to encourage you today in knowing that if you find yourself relationally isolated, unhealthy, or lonely, the Father is kind and loves to hear the cries of our heart, especially when they reflect the desires and intentions of His heart. Spend some time today asking the Father to lead you to others with whom you can pursue relationship. Maybe use the scripture below for this time of prayer and ask the Father to bring people into your life that will spiritually challenge and encourage you: mentors, best friends, partners, and learners/apprentices.
Praying for “your people”
Ask the Father:
Matthew 7:11 “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”
Pray specifically for the types of relationship you desire:
Best friends: John 15:12-13 “This is My command, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”
Proverbs 18:24 “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
Mentoring relationships: Proverbs 27:17 “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”
Co-laborers: Ecclesiastes 4:9-10a “Two are better than one because they have good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion.”
Hebrews 10:24-25 “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
*At Gospel Community Rivermont, we have several pathways for connecting with others. Please visit http://www.gospelcc.org/connections/gospel-discipleship-communities/ for more information about Gospel Communities, Discipleship Groups, Men’s Ministry or Women’s Ministry; or visit http://www.gospelcc.org/connections/service-opportunities/ for more information about serving in relationship alongside fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.