The Friends I Didn't Pray For

September 6, 2016

We sat around a table planning our first gathering of moms for the new year. We’d discussed ideas for how to start and kept landing back on the subject of friendship. All the complicated, wonderful, hard and messy ways that friendship adds value to the different seasons of our lives.

And as I left I wondered how I’d happened into the friendships I have now, relationships well over fifteen years old that seemingly fell into place with little effort on my part. Until I remembered…

It was over sixteen years ago that I was living with my sister and her family on the same street I now currently live with my own husband and children. As an early 20-something, recent college graduate working two jobs, I moved in with my sister when her cancer had returned for a second time and she needed extra help with her kids and home. For me, it was a welcome reprieve from the busyness of life. Katrina had a way of making her home feel safe and warm, like a snug hug on a cold winters’ day, and I loved being able to spend time there.

One morning as we visited, she told me she was lonely. A surprising statement from her as she was always surrounded by people, involved in activities and leadership, spending time with countless people from our church and community. She told me it was true, she knew a lot of people, but then she stated, “I have a lot of acquaintances, but I don’t have any friends.”

She told me she’d been praying and had women she wanted to invite to her house, once a week, for a book study--a bible study of sorts. And even though she didn’t know any of the women very well, she felt like they were the ones God wanted her to invite into her home. I nodded agreement at her idea, never knowing the impact if would have on my life.

A few weeks later I was seated at her kitchen table, a cup of coffee in my hands, a plate of cookies and a new book in front of me; looking around at a group of women I did not yet know, but who had all agreed to join my sister for her book club. I, being the younger sister, was included simply because of my relationship to Katrina and my proximity (living in her home had it’s perks).

And something happened over those shared cups of coffee, chapters read and questions answered, prayer requests shared, tears shed and joys celebrated; Katrina found what she had prayed for: friendship. And I, as simply a bystander, found it too.

And as I think back on that time, many years later, I realize the legacy of my sister, the prayer of her heart, was not just for her, but was for me as well.

These were the women who saw Katrina through her sickness, rallied when she was ill, celebrated when she was well. They celebrated the birth of babies together, kids birthdays and wedding anniversaries, college graduations, starts of businesses and new careers. They are the ones who, in turn, have listened as I’ve cried, encouraged my dreams too small to even whisper, offered grace over my mistakes and feeble attempts at apologies and Loved. Me. Well.

They are the ones who, even if I have not talked to them in several weeks, I know, have my back. They are not fickle or petty. They love well and long and gracefully.

These are the rich friendships of life. The ones you feel scarce to think you deserve.

And it all started from a little prayer my sister whispered so many years ago, simply asking God for some friends.

And as I ponder all of this, I cannot stop thinking about the goodness of God. About his mercy that he lavishes on all of us. And I wonder: What do you want today from God friends? What have you thought to ask, but wonder if it’s just too insignificant or too small?

Can I tell you, I don’t believe it is? 

Because I’ve seen God answer a woman’s prayer for friends--and not only grant her request--but spill over her blessing to a younger sister who did not even know the benefit she would receive from those prayers.

A younger sister who is now eternally grateful to her older sister who craved something more than just acquaintances, and a God who gives us what we need, when we don’t even know we need it.

God can give you the desires of your heart. All you have to do is ask. 

And don't be surprised when your answered prayers, spill blessings over on to those around you too.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, 
according to his power that is at work within us, 
to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, 
for ever and ever! Amen.  
Ephesians 3:20-21

Today we are linking up with Jennifer Dukes Lee and Holley Gerth.


  1. I love this! God certainly brings the right friends when we ask. We just have to have humility and confidence to ask.


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