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A prayer partner. If you have ever wished for a person in your life who just understands you, walked through the ups and downs of life with you, and prayed for you when you didn’t have the strength.
In September of last year, I joined a Facebook group for Christian entrepreneurs. The business world can feel a bit cutthroat and I was really needing some supportive community. They just happened to be starting to go through a book called 31 Days of Prayer for the Dreamers and the Doers and we were given the option to comment on the post to be randomly paired up with a prayer partner in the group to walk through the 31 days of prayer with. So, I left a comment.
That was the beginning of one of the most uniquely beautiful relationships in my life.
For the last year, Kristen and I have emailed nearly every single day and we now Skype once a week. We have prayed for each others’ businesses, relationships, churches, families, and faiths. We have cheered on each others’ victories, offered encouragement during the struggles, shared secrets very few people know, and given pep talks when the other has lacked motivation.
There is no other relationship in my life quite like it.
Of course, I have close friends that I share things with regularly, but there are a couple of things that set this friendship apart.
Why A Prayer Partner is Powerful:
- We talk every single day. We are walking through life together, sharing both the big picture and the details of all of our ups and downs. That means I don’t have to explain why Adam giving me the middle piece of his chicken is meaningful or why I’m so bothered by the fact that I didn’t finish my to-do list. She knows me. She knows my priorities, my values, my habits, and my routines, so she knows how those everyday things affect me.
- We share what’s on our hearts. Our emails are not just a rundown of things we did that day. It’s how we feel about those things. We talk about our joys, hurts, struggles, and triumphs and why we feel the way we do. It adds depth to every single experience of our lives and it’s how to take any relationship to a deeper level – past the small talk and surface level stuff and straight down to the things that matter.
- We pray without ceasing. It’s one thing to generally pray for the people in your life, but it’s quite another to have the responsibility and joy of lifting detailed prayer requests up on a daily basis. It’s not a responsibility I take lightly and, as a result, I have drawn much nearer to God. In praying for her, it stirs my passion to pray for others and to listen earnestly for God’s voice always.
- It is a constant reminder to refocus on God. Kristen always asks, “How can I be praying for you?” It’s a simple and obvious question (she is my prayer partner and all!), but every single time it gets me to stop and think. It’s easy to just go through the motions and forget to pray about things, but she is a daily reminder to fix my eyes on God and see Him intersect my life all day, every day.
- We see prayers answered all the time. When you are sharing prayer requests in writing (or just out loud), there’s record of it. It’s not just a fleeting thought, it’s an actual request you are laying at the foot of the cross and when it is answered, even if I don’t see the answer right away, she is able to point it out to me! As a result, we both see God as a very living and active part of our lives, guiding, directing, and protecting us every single day.
- We hold each other accountable. Whether it’s purity, business decisions, or relationships, we hold each other accountable to a godly standard of living and are always seeking to help the other grow. Of course, there is plenty of room for mistakes and a healthy dose of regular grace, but neither of us has stayed stagnant this past year. We take iron sharpens iron seriously and we regularly check in on areas we know the other may be procrastinating about. We never let each other sit in the “what ifs” too long because it’s effort that could be used in the “could bes”.
After nearly a year, Kristen and I finally met in person! She flew out to Colorado last week and we got to spend nearly a week together, which was just as wonderful as it sounds.
You know how sometimes it’s awkward to spend 24/7 with someone, even if you really like them as a friend? There was none of that with her (phew!).
It’s a beautiful thing to be able to be fully yourself and still completely accepted, just as you are.
See, there is more to it than Kristen just being my randomly matched prayer partner. I fully believe ours is a divinely connected friendship. The similarities in our lives, pasts, personalities, and interests are mind-boggling and there is no way that you could chalk it all up to happenstance.
Our prayer partner relationship is most definitely providence, not mere coincidence.
Last week, we hiked, shopped, explored, worked (we are both business owners, it’s what we do!), ate all kinds of delicious food, and just enjoyed each others’ company.
It was kind of like a week of free therapy. We never run out of things to talk about, which is pretty darn nice for an introvert like me who runs out of small talk topics, but hates awkward silences.
Also, we have both been dating our boyfriends almost exactly the same amount of time (I told you the similarities in our lives were crazy!), so it was really fun for her to meet Adam and to have a week of boy talk with someone who has walked alongside me through the entire relationship. I’m really hoping there will be a double date sometime in the future.
There is no way to replicate the way Kristen and I found each other. Like I said, God’s hand was all over this one! But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a similar relationship in your life!
Tips for Building A Prayer Partner Relationship for Yourself
- Ask someone. Maybe you have a friend from church that you click well with or someone you know from a mom’s group. Ask her to coffee. Ask her if she’ll consider the idea of being a prayer partner with you. With technology these days, it doesn’t really matter where they live, so location isn’t a limiting factor!
- Come up with a regular communication plan. It doesn’t have to be every single day, but decide if you are going to meet in person, talk on the phone, email, or text. Whatever you do, just make sure you are connecting on a regular basis!
- Go through a book. The first book Kristen and I went through was a book of daily prayers, but since then we have gone through other books to deepen our relationship with God and others. There are so many good ones out there! Right now, we are going through Fervent together. It gives us some added structure to our discussions and makes sure we are always growing! Iron sharpens iron.
- Be vulnerable. It’s hard to open yourself up to someone. I won’t say it was always easy or comfortable and it definitely takes time to build that trust, but without the vulnerability, you will never experience the full depths of that connection. Let them into those dark, twisty, hurtful, hidden places.
- Initiate. Taking a relationship to a deeper level takes a lot of intentionality. Ask a lot of questions. Learn about the things they care about. Invest your time, energy, and emotions in them (with healthy boundaries, of course!).
- Pray. This is the obvious one, but it’s important that you follow through on it! I know that when I share a request with Kristen, she will lift it up in prayer. And it’s quite the relief to know that when I am too tired, stressed, or shattered to utter the words, that she is saying them on my behalf. Be dependable and trustworthy in your prayers. It’s a beautiful and oh-so powerful thing!
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