The Friendship You Crave

I pray that you will experience God’s friendship in an amazing new way in 2017

Janet Page serves as associate ministerial secretary for pastoral spouses, families, and prayer.

We all want to be heard and understood. We all want someone to listen to us.

If you are feeling lonely, friendless, misunderstood, or sure that nobody listens to you, there is someone who will. God will.

“Yeah, I know that. But it’s not the same as a human being I can see,” you say.

I agree that it’s not the same. It’s actually better! God longs to show up in our lives in amazing ways if we will simply do what His Word instructs: “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10, NKJV).

God longs for people who will simply be still and know Him. He longs to put His arms of comfort around us and pour His love into our hearts.

“How do I do this when I live in a house filled with people and noise?” you ask. “My life is consumed with responsibilities— husband, children, work, church. I have no private space.”

I understand. I’ve been there. As the wife of a pastor and then a conference president, I was lonely, disappointed, and frustrated. Yet I felt that I was too busy to take quality time with God. Then God began to teach me how to find the friendship I craved in His wonderful presence.

Here are some practical tips that helped me form a friendship with God:

1. Ask God to wake you up when He wants to spend time with you. Ask Him to kick you out of bed and keep you wide awake. He is able to call you, just as He did for Samuel (1 Samuel 3).

2. Open your heart to Him as to a friend (Steps to Christ, p. 93). Then give Him time to answer. How does He answer? Often He will do it as we spend time reading and praying through His Word.

3. As you read the Bible, let God lead. Praise Him, thank Him, worship Him, confess sin, pray for someone or some situation that is on God’s heart.

4. Ask God what He wants you to pray for. This can lead to an amazing revelation of what is on God’s heart and what He wants to do through your prayers.

5. Throughout the day keep communing with God. Besides asking “Help me do this” or “Please do this, God,” try to do more thanking, praising, and worshiping Him.

Recently I heard a speaker say, “When we thank God, He starts listening. When we praise God, we feel His presence. When we worship God, He starts moving on our behalf.” She also shared a few suggestions: Spend one minute thanking God, then spend another minute praising Him, then a minute worshiping Him. Repeat this often during the day while you are working, washing dishes, walking, driving, or sitting in a committee. God’s love and joy will flood your heart as you continue to do this.

A woman in New Zealand decided to try this for three days. She kept praising, thanking, and worshiping God all day long. By the third day, she was filled with joy. She could not believe it. “God is real, intimate, and caring!” she told me.

I’ve found in my own experience that as I worship, praise, and thank God while reading the Word, He so floods my heart with His love that I feel like my heart will burst!

I don’t know what you are going through. Maybe you feel as if you have no earthly friend right now, no one who really understands or listens to you. Maybe you have the weight of the world on your shoulders or you feel that you are in darkness and can’t find the way out.Don’t give up! Go to God. Pour out your heart to Him with all of your cares. Then start thanking and praising Him. Even try to thank and praise Him that you have no friend and that you have so many problems. It is incredible what happens when we thank and praise God for allowing trials in our lives! Then listen to God by reading and meditating on what He has to say to you in the Bible.

You are loved! Always remember Zephaniah 3:17: “The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing” (NKJV).

I pray that you will experience God’s friendship in an amazing new way in 2017.