Tuesday, June 8, 2021

simply Tuesday-- simply being a friend


Happy Tuesday, friends. I don't really have anything in mind for this blog post other than just encouragement. Couldn't we all use some from time to time? I know I can and always appreciate people who are uplifting. 

Have you been around people who are having such a hard time that it's hard to know what to even say to them? I was around one such person in the last few weeks and I honestly didn't know what to say to them as they talked about their life and how things weren't going as they'd planned. When I'm in that kind of situation, I know that the Lord is always there to help me through. That's one way I pray for myself, for the Lord to use me, to make me sensitive to those around me. So as I sat and listened, I tried to be aware of my facial expression and I earnestly listened to every word they said. I think that having an appropriate facial expression is helpful and though it may seem silly to someone, when we are aware of that, we can either seem more or less approachable. I know that I personally am going to be more willing to open up to someone who meets my eyes, who looks like she cares, who smiles. I try to emulate those same things.

I also listened by asking questions when I wanted clarification about something they said. I do that for a couple of reasons—first, it shows that I'm listening and second, it helps me know more specifically how to pray. It's important to know how to pray very specifically. 

You've heard me say this before—when I pray, I pray very specifically, not generally. God is a God of details! I tell Him everything, much like I would if I was sitting and talking to my husband, mom or best friend. God wants to know all of those details and I know that just the act of telling Him everything relieves me from pressure or stress I may feel. There are days when I am so busy that as I pray in the morning, I tell the Lord everything that I need to do that day and then He will help me with all of the timing and details. I believe with all of my heart that when things fall into place, it is a divine act of God. He is always with us and working on our behalf, for those of us who are believers and followers of Him.

Lastly, when I left the person I'd been listening to, I prayed for them. I told them I would, and then I did. It's important to stop and pray when you tell someone you're going to pray. So many times it's easy to say those words and then forget to actually pray. This means I've been known to slip off to somewhere quiet so that I can get alone with God for a few minutes, or I'll just close my eyes and pray right where I am. Sometimes if I can't close my eyes, I'll pray under my breath in a whisper if I am in public. It doesn't matter how you do this, just pray when you say you're going to.

I like to write down prayer requests—do you do this?  Sometimes I do this in my journal, because I use my journal everyday. Other times I do this in a prayer notebook, but I don't always pick that one up. I am always switching things up. 

If you know someone who is walking a difficult path in life right now, don't shy away from them. Pray for them! Reach out to them and let them know you're praying, but even if you never do that, pray for them anyway. It's encouraging to hear that someone is praying for you and I've been on the receiving end of that many, many times. Be a friend to them, be a listening ear, take them a meal, send them a card. So many times people think they have to walk through life alone, and for believers that is not how we're supposed to live. We're supposed to walk alongside others and be there to support and encourage them. 

I do sincerely ask the Lord to help me to be sensitive to the needs of others around me and I firmly believe that He gives me opportunities to listen. You've heard the saying, "Be careful what you ask for", well, pray that and see how God answers you and then uses you. You never know the impact you may have in someone's life, but all you have to do is open your eyes and be mindful. Hurting and discouraged people are everywhere right now and many of them don't know Jesus. We've never had an opportunity as much as we do right now, my friend. The Bible tells us to look out for others' needs more than we look out for our own—and to essentially be a friend to those around us. 

Thanks for reading my blog! I pray these words encourage you. Love to all. 

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