Let Us Care for One Another
Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
Prayer is infinitely important. It is our direct communication with God almighty and we should be constantly developing our relationship with God, through prayer. We also should fervently pray for our friends and brothers and sisters in Christ. Intercessory prayer is also vitally important. James reminds us:
The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:16
As effective and essential as prayer is, we are called to do so much more as Christians. Unfortunately, we can become wrapped up in our own lives and things we have prioritized and forget that the people God has put in our lives are equally important. We can have a tendency to over-spiritualize in response to the needs of our friends as a way of feeling better about our lack of action. It is easy to say, "I will pray for you" but often times the person might need more than prayer at that point in time. This is not to minimize prayer, but to remind ourselves that as human being we have more temporal needs as well. In the book of James we are admonished:
Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. James 2: 15-17
By the same token, if a brother or sister comes to us with the weight of the world bearing down on their soul and our only response is to say, "I will pray for you" or respond with a trite Christianism, of what good is that? Sure the prayer is important, but the immediate human need goes essentially ignored. This is why the bible is clear about the need to have friends and companionship in this life. God's design is not for us to be alone. It is the enemy that wants us alone because that is when his attacks can be more successful. We see this truth revealed in the Old Testament:
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12
Pity the man who has no one to help him up! But God has put people in our lives that we are to walk with and help up in their times of need, as they will help us up in ours. It is critical though that we are attuned to their needs and that we do not allow the busyness of our lives to interfere with our Godly responsibilities to be there for them. Proverbs 17:17 provides us with two simple truths.
The first is that a friend loves at all times. Friendship is not to be based
upon convenience but upon the bond God has provided between two persons. The
friend does not just love when it is expedient for them. A friend does not just
love when things are going well. The bible implores us in this verse that a
friend loves at all times. As Jesus
was preparing for