Behind Closed Doors
Twenty one years ago, Shan and I tied the knot. Shan was about elevenish ( Is that a word? Guess it will have to be) and I was eleven at the time. After primary school ended that day, I raced to our vow ceremony. It wasn’t a spontaneous decision, it was well planned. Upon entering Shan’s home, two timid girls crept into her mom’s bedroom. When we thought no one was looking, we closed the bedroom door, opened the Book of Common Prayers (A book used by Anglican churches ) and found our marriage vows.
In those days, children or even adults made rings from colourful beads. We somehow got our hands on one for our ceremony. As we took turns repeating our vows, we swapped a single beaded ring (one similar to the one below, but it was red). No we did not kiss! It’s ok, you’re not the first to ask about this 🙂
In that moment, two children somehow believed that God was able to do abundantly and exceedingly great things. We asked to be best friends forever.
(Shan and I twenty years later, at my vow renewal in 2017)
Praying with Friends
Each week, my girlfriends and I allocate at least an hour and a half of God’s time to Him and our friendship. When Bible Study Phone Conference (BSPC) was created, it was Georgie, myself and God.
Georgie was sent by God six years ago. What started off as a work relationship turned into a beautiful friendship, a sisterhood. So, here were two sisters, on two different journeys, wanting to know God together. God sent Shan a few weeks later.
At first, BSPC started a bit rocky. This was new territory! It wasn’t our regular afternoon tea or make-up shopping! It was God creating something new. Each week, we asked for God’s leading. We asked the Holy Spirit to teach us to understand and interpret His word. As the weeks waved by, I witnessed three women galloping in their prayers. Few months later, God showed us the singer among the trio. Our spiritual gifts were coming to light.
Facing Trials through prayers and encouragement
The last few weeks were a bit difficult for us. It was difficult for a number of reasons. Georgie couldn’t join us for prayers, but it was as though she was still with us. Georgie was having a hectic few weeks with university life and was quite busy. Shan had troubles of her own and needed support. Baby B had gone quiet for a few days and the mama bear in me began to roar. I had an upcoming work presentation, which needed God’s blessings. I had also learnt some terrible news about a sister. As we shared these difficulties, Shan and I felt compelled to pray.
As I looked at our prayer requests list, it was a long, but God was in control. The opening prayer lasted for about twenty minutes. The Holy Spirit led Shan to pray for persons who were not even on the prayer request list. The names were just pouring, she couldn’t stop! This was the sister who joined BSPC with the fear of being uable to pray openly. The Holy Spirit was now telling her what to say, teaching her how to pray. As I reflect on our friendship, I realised that God was there from the beginning. At age eleven, He was with us when we thought no one was looking. Twenty one years later, He is still with us.
There’s such beauty in praying with a friend. You can be honest, vulnerable and happy at the same time. No judgements. I love large gatherings, but I’ve found so much healing and great joy when praying with my girls. Sometimes, there are private pains which can only be discussed with a friend and God. This is the most amazing bit of it all.
As this new week draws to a close, I am in awe of what God has done. God had answered our prayers. Georgie made it through a hectic few weeks. Shan’s prayers were answered within a few days. Baby B was kicking in new places! My presentation was Holy Spirit driven and my sister was rescued. How amazing is our God 🙂
Benefits of Praying With Friends
1. Learning How To Pray
From week one to present, we have grown in our prayers. The Holy Spirit teaches us to be confident and speaks for us when we cannot speak for ourselves.
In the same way the Spirit also comes to help us, weak as we are. For we do not know how we ought to pray; the Spirit himself pleads with God for us in groans that words cannot express. Romans 8:26 GNB
2. Learning to Glorify God together
We get to glorify God each week, as we reflect on the miracles of God.
Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together. Psalm 34:3 (NIV)
We get to encourage each other. We also get to pray for healing in the lives of each other, our other friends, families and communities.
Pray for each other so that you may be healed. James 5: 16 (NLT)
So encourage each other and build each other up. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT)
4. Genuine love is shared
Our love for each other grows, but in a different way. It’s genuine! We get to love God even more.
Love each other with genuine affection, and keep on praying. Romans 12: 10- 12 (NLT)
We get to commit to prayer requests. When we say we will pray for others, we ensure it gets done.
As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. 1 Samuel 12: 23
6. Cooperation and Acceptance
We understand the importance of partnership working. We are learning to accept that we might not receive all that we ask, as God knows his will for us.
If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. Matthew 18: 19 (NLT)
Isn’t God powerful!
Twenty one years ago, God listened to the voice of two children who believed He was all powerful. Today, He continues to bless our friendship in amazing ways.
Each week, He blesses our families, friends and communities as He hears our cries.
God wants to be a part of all your friendships. He wants to seal your unions with His everlasting love. Why not share all of your friendships with Him? God will ensure that your friendships last a lifetime. Spend sometime praying together, it will change the nature of your friendships in powerful ways.
May God bless you and your people.