A Faithful Friend

Sharon and me, enjoying a Christmas lunch together

            Carry each other’s burdens. – Galatians 6:2 (NIV)

            I don’t know what I’d do without my friend Sharon. We met at a Bible study nearly 45 years ago and discovered we had much in common. We were both stay-at-home mothers struggling with more month than money, hard-working husbands, and unfulfilled dreams.

            As our friendship grew, I’d find myself dialing her number whenever I needed someone to talk to, cheer me up or give me advice. We spent hours analyzing life, the world, our children and our men. I could tell her things I couldn’t even tell my husband and know she’d understand.

            No matter how busy she was, no matter what time of the day I called, she took the time to listen, talk and, most important, pray with me. Even when I didn’t ask, I knew I could count on her prayers.

            As our children grew, our lives became more complicated and the calls less frequent. But even though we’re both busy, I know I can call her when I or one of my family is experiencing a crisis.

            On the night before He died, Jesus took Peter, James, and John with Him to the Garden of Gethsemane. 

            “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” He told them. “Stay here and keep watch with Me.”

            But the busy day, big meal and evening of fellowship tool their toll. They fell asleep, waking only when Judas returned with a club-carrying, sword-wielding crowd. And then they fled. When Jesus needed them most, they let Him down. Perhaps if they had prayed instead of slept, they would not have deserted Him, leaving Him to suffer and die alone.

            There are times when people ask us to pray for them. Are we like the sleepy trio whose spirit was willing and flesh was weak? Or are we like my friend Sharon, whose faithfulness and prayers make all the difference?

Thank You, Lord, for a friend who prays with and for me when I face my own Gethsemanes. May I be as faithful a friend to others as she is to me. Amen.

Read and reflect on Matthew 26:36–46.

© 2022 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.

The Grocery List

“Lord, teach us to pray.” – Luke 11:1 (NIV)

I grew up at a time when small, family-owned grocery stores perched on just about every corner in every neighborhood. My mother would call in her list, and they’d gather the items, pack them up in boxes, and deliver them by the end of the day. The stores extended credit, so when Dad got paid, they got paid.

I’m reminiscing those old grocery store days because I’ve been pondering prayer and our perspective of it. 

Too often we approach prayer like writing up a grocery list and phoning it in to God, expecting Him to box up what we need and deliver it pronto. 

It doesn’t work that way.

Like the disciples, we need to ask the Lord to teach us to pray. 

So let’s look at Jesus’ response. “The Lord’s Prayer” is simple, but it contains all we need on our grocery list to the Heavenly storehouse.

First on the list is HONOR. “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” Sometimes we’re so focused on the family relationship that we forget our Father’s holiness. We’re so busy crawling into Daddy’s lap that we neglect to bow down in worship to El Shaddai. Honor Him as your heavenly Father and honor Him as your God. 

Second on the list is SUBMISSION. “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Submit to His will for you and surrender what you think you want. Father does know best. Too often we want what we want and nothing else, and get mad at God when we don’t get it.  “This wasn’t on my list,” we complain. “This isn’t the brand I ordered.” Submit to His best for you. 

Third on the list is TRUST. “Give us this day our daily bread.” This isn’t a request only for food to sustain us physically. We also need bread for our minds, hearts, and spirits. And notice the words “this day.” Too often our lists contain more than what we need for one day. We feel better when we see caches stashed away for tomorrow (and tomorrow and tomorrow)—it’s much easier than trusting God, whom we can’t see, for today’s needs. 

Fourth on the list is FORGIVENESS. “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” I prefer the word “trespasses” rather than “debts,” but both convey the same meaning: If you want to be forgiven, you’ve got to forgive others who have hurt you. And we all need to forgive and be forgiven.

The final item on the list is DELIVERANCE. “And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” God, being holy, will never lead us to do wrong. That’s our choice. I like the way the NIV Study Bible explains this verse: “Do not lead us into trials so deep that they would tempt us to be unfaithful to you. God does not tempt (in the sense of enticing us to sin).” Rather, we ask God to deliver us from the evil that surrounds us, so it won’t it affect us, inside or out. 

Honor. Submission. Trust. Forgiveness. Deliverance.

And, remember, you have all the credit you need—just write the check in the name of Jesus, who already paid. 

What’s on your grocery list?

Father, remind me to keep my prayers simple.  Amen.

Read and reflect on Matthew 6:5–13.

 From God, Me, & a Cup of Tea: 101 devotional readings to savor during your time with God © 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.