Here are five ways that you can support a friend during hard times.
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Pray for Them
One of the best things you can do for a friend who is going through hard times is to pray for them. The fact is, we are commanded to pray for one another, and how much more so for our friends and family! James writes, “confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (James 5:16). Try doing this: Tell them “I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers” (Eph 1:15), and do it often. Give thanks for them to God and let them know it.
You don’t have to look hard for a Bible verse that tells us we should be encouraging one another, and this is just what the Apostle Paul wrote; “encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing” (1st Thess 5:11). Our lives should be about building others up, because the world and its problems to are beating them down; just like it does us at times. This is a critical time for you to be there for your friend. Don’t say “Wow, you really got yourself in a mess” but rather, “What can I do to help? I am praying for you already.” The essential definition of the word “encourage” in the Greek (“parakaleō”) means “to call to one’s side” or to be “side by side,” so let’s come alongside them in times of sorrows as well as joys.
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Give time to Them
We all are pretty busy. If I took a survey, I’d guess that the majority would raise their hand if I ask them, “Are you busy?” Welcome to my world too! The point is; time is valuable to us so, why not give the gift of time to your friend who’s going through a very hard time right now. You can bring them supper, you can send them cards/flowers, mow their lawn, baby sit their children, or any number of things you can think of that are probably better than my ideas. We all have these three to give; Our time, talents, and treasures, but there are times when the thing your friend needs the most is you!
Be understanding of Them
The Apostle Peter gives a good example about understanding the differences in others by writing “husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman” (1st Pet 3:7). Even though this verse is about the marital relationship, it can make us think that every one of us are different and have weaknesses and probably do things that irritate people, and we’d want people to be understanding of how we are. The point is, when you understand more about what your spouse, your friend, your family member, or your co-workers are going through, you can have a relationship that is more understanding of their circumstances. When your friend is going through some hard times, they need a friend that would more understanding than anyone else. That would be you (and me), right?
A Familiar Comfort
If we see our friend in a hard place, we need only remember our own “dark night of the soul.” We’ve likely gone through some of the same things our friend is going through and that’s as it should be. God is at work. He has sovereignly placed our friends in our life. They’re no accident! God appointed them for us and us for them. As for comfort, the Bible says it is God “who comforts us in all our afflictions, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2nd Cor 1:4). Can we remember the times God comforted us, perhaps even using a friend? That’s real comfort, and since we should be familiar with it ourselves, we can give the very same kind of comfort to our friend. How great is that!
There are other things that you can probably think of to help a friend going through some very hard times. I know that it’s often difficult to know what to say and sometimes, like Jobs friends, they just sat there with him for a time. I don’t know the answer; just pray for them and tell them you are; encourage them as best as you can without overdoing it; giving of “you” and your time is very important; you know them so you can understand them better than others; and comfort them in the way God comforted us.
May God richly bless you,
Pastor Jack Wellman
by Magnet (Ireland)
Dear God, I’ve prayed to you all my life please help me again, my heart is aching, my boyfriend is going through a hard time as he has been burnt by bad relationships, he has a 5 year old son who lives with his mom a distance away, he only sees him at weekends, he does not get on with his son’s mother.
He has slipped in to depression but doesn’t know it. He is completely stressed, he has asked that i give him some time alone to sort things out for himself, i am heartbroken, don’t know what to do, have no contact with him for last 3 weeks.
Please heal him from his troubles and bring him back to me, we could have a nice life together, he is such a kind person, but life was unfair to him. Put your healing hands over us both and give us peace in our lives, i will always believe in you, you were the only friend i had when i was young and going through abuse, i could talk to you at night when i went to bed, i know you have helped me all my life, dear god, i’m begging you to take away my pain.
Give me a sign that everything will be ok, I need you so bad in my life right now. Thank You God.
Return to 7 Daily Prayers to Get You Through The Week
“As a child of God, you ought to expect God to answer your prayers. Do you ask God to do something without adjusting your life to what you are praying? If you are praying for revival, how are you preparing for its coming? If you are praying for forgiveness, are you still living with guilt? If you have asked God to provide for your needs, do you remain worried and anxious? Ask God to increase your faith, and then begin living a life that reflects absolute trust in Him.” Henry Blackaby
We all want God to answer our prayers. We believe in the power of prayer, but when it comes down to our own individual lives and our own problems, we often don’t have the faith to believe God will answer. The times we are living in are difficult. We are often trapped by our unbelief and fear, but God is preparing us for the end-time harvest. He wants to enlarge our territory. He wants to bless us with increase, because His nature is to care and bestow divine favor on us.
We are the ones who limit Him because of our lack of trust and our fear of stepping out in faith. The truth is that the things we do for God should be outside of our own ability and should be trusting in His supernatural ability. When we back away from dependence and trust in God, we are not living by faith. He wants us to trust and obey His Word. He wants us to be strong and courageous. We need to be willing to attempt things big enough that unless God’s steps in, we are sure to fail. This is the kind of trust and dependence He is looking for in our life. We need not be shaken. He can break through every obstacle. He is the God of the impossible!
A Prayer for Trusting God in Hard Times
Lord, I thank You that You are the God of the impossible. You can do anything. I want to trust in Your ability and not my own. Teach me to see difficulties in my life from Your perspective. Help me to focus on You and Your power. I want to be like Joshua and Caleb who believed in a good report and focused on You even in hard circumstances (Numbers 14:7-9). My responsibility is to carefully read, trust, and obey Your Word. Today I bring before You this difficulty in my life . Help me not to fear but to trust You in this situation. I declare my faith in Your ability to fulfill Your promises to me. You will fight for me and win the battles in my life. You are mighty, powerful, righteous and true.
SEE ALSO: The Power of a Thankful Heart
I have nothing to fear with You on my side. I will be strong and courageous even in hard times. I will not be terrified or discouraged, for the Lord my God will be with me wherever I go (Joshua 1:9). You will never leave me or forsake me (Joshua 1:5). I do not need to figure everything out. You already know the best plan for my life. I will not try any man-made method to do only what You can do. Show me Your supernatural power. Teach me how to walk by faith and pray breakthrough prayers. I choose to have faith in Your ability to break through every obstacle in my life. Just like Joshua, You will give me the land and every place where my feet step (Joshua 1:3). “Through you we push back our enemies; through your name we trample our foes. I do not trust in my bow, my sword does not bring me victory; but you give us victory over our enemies, you put our adversaries to shame. In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name forever” (Psalm 44:5-8).
“Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Psalm 16:5-11). In Jesus name, amen.“Faith does the impossible because it lets God undertake for us, and nothing is impossible for God. How great – without qualification or limitation – the power of faith is! If doubt can be banished from the heart and unbelief is made a stranger there, what we ask from God will surely come to pass. Prayer throws faith on God and God on the world. Only God can move mountains, but faith and prayer move God.”
Together in the Harvest,
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer Kansas City (IHOPKC)
SEE ALSO: 5 Reasons Prayer is Not Work