By Peola Hicks
The Value of a Friend
Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labor.
For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)
What is a friend? My definition of a friend is someone closely aligned with me, someone who encourages me in the good times and lifts me up in the bad times. A friend is trustworthy and will hold me accountable. Friends do not have to be around each other often to maintain a healthy friendship.
I pray for a lot of my friends on Facebook. I share videos, articles and pictures with them. I call them friends because of the Facebook environment, but I wonder if they are truly friends. I certainly could not respond to all of them personally in a crisis.
Sometimes people become friends through tragic events. In the book of Ruth, there is a story of two women who faced difficult circumstances. Naomi met Ruth in her homeland of Moab. Ruth married Naomi’s son. The two of them must have shared many stories about their lives and faith journeys.
Eventually Naomi’s husband died and sometime later, Ruth’s husband also died. They were there for each other. They encouraged each other, and I suspect that they cried together. Their bond was so strong that when it was time for Naomi to leave for her own country, Ruth could not bear the thought of breaking their bond. Naomi shared her faith with Ruth and they traveled back to Naomi’s homeland together.
This story reminds me how precious good friends are. We should not forget that we had friends before social media. I have friends from former churches. I have cried and prayed with them during life’s toughest times. I am still friends with my college roommate. We have shared many stories about our children, relationships and faith journeys. I have come to appreciate my friends for our mutual love and respect. We don’t necessarily live in the same town, but we know how to find each other when needed. I believe that God made us to need each other.
My prayer point and challenge to you is to make time to get together with those you call friends. Pray constantly for them and be present when they need you.
God bless you!
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Rev. Dr. Peola C. Hicks manages all prayer, volunteer and partner programs for OurPrayer. OurPrayer is a Christ centered ministry that receives and prays for over 750,000 requests on an annual basis through the web, phone and Facebook. Peola is an ordained minister and has a profile on Facebook as Peola’s Prayer Points.