Community matters a lot. The essence of God is community as God is three persons – the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We were created in God’s image and likeness. We were made for community. We need each other!
One of the weapons of the enemy is isolation. He wants to get us alone and more vulnerable to his attacks. Our kids are growing up in a crazy time where technology can make them feel like they are connected, but the reality is, the more technology connections expand, the less connected we really feel. Kids today are more anxious, depressed, and lonely.
We can pray for our kids to have a pack of good friends, family, and mentors surrounding them throughout their life and looking out for each other.
Motivational speaker Jim Rohn says, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” True or not, the point is valid that the people our kids hang out with rub off on them. They will often pick up their habits and mannerisms, and even their values. We want to encourage and pray for our kids to choose wisely!
It is important as parents to pray for our kids…for their friendships, for family relationships, for a solid Christian community, for great mentors, and for healthy, Godly relationships with the opposite sex.
“Everybody has a home team: It’s the people you call when you get a flat tire or when something terrible happens. It’s the people who, near or far, know everything that’s wrong with you and love you anyways. These are the ones who tell you their secrets, who get a glass of water without asking when they’re at your house. These are the people who cry when you cry. These are your people, your middle-of-the-night, no-matter-what people.”
God, please surround _________________ with great friends throughout (his/her) life. Bring friends who love You and love (him/her). Surround (him/her) with friendships where they encourage one another, support one another, lift one another up, hold one another accountable, and keep one another on Your path that leads to life.
Bring deep, close friendships that share interests and passions, laughter and tears. Friendships that root one another on and help one another achieve their dreams, always giving glory to You. Friends who will be safe and healthy places to hash out life.
Please let ________________ be a friend who loves others well. Help (him/her) to be a positive influence on (his/her) friends. Help ________________ to value strong and healthy friendships.
Help ___________________ foster relationships that bring out the best in each other and sharpen edges when they need it.
A hard truth in all life stages is that friends will sometimes disappoint. God, when envy, fear, selfishness, or pride get in the way and begin to splinter or even destroy friendships, please help ________________ quickly see it for what it is and turn back to your design for friendship.
Help _______________ remember that You are faithful even when friends are not. Help (him/her) to be quick to not make assumptions, to give the benefit of the doubt, to show grace, and forgive easily…but also to have discernment to know when to walk away from a toxic relationship with love and grace.
God, with the prevalence of technology and social media platforms, I pray that _______________ always values in-person relationships and community over virtual “relationships.”
God, I pray for strong mentors to pour into _________________’s life at different stages of (his/her) life. I pray for _________________ to be a mentor to those coming behind (him/her).
When it comes to dating and relationships with the opposite sex, help ______________ to choose wisely. Help (him/her) to never sacrifice (his/her) values to cling to an unhealthy relationship. Give (him/her) discernment about who (he/she) decides to date and marry. I pray in advance for the person that ________________ will marry. I pray they love You and love _________________. I pray it is a relationship of mutual friendship, love, grace, respect, encouragement, forgiveness, and support. I pray it is a relationship anchored in You.
God, please bring strong Christian communities around _____________ throughout (his/her) life. Help (him/her) find a God-honoring, Truth-teaching, and supportive church home through all (his/her) life stages. I pray ________________ values being a part of Christian community and seeks it out, even when it is hard and countercultural.
God, I pray for our family. Please help our family bond and relationships always be strong through life stages, hormones, and changes. Help us to love, encourage, communicate, and enjoy each other. Through life’s ups and downs and ever-present transitions, help our family be a steady source of love and support for one another.
Tips for Parents
Model and encourage getting plugged into a Christian community and seeing the value in doing life with other Christians. If you are plugged into a church, that is a great place to start. You could also consider starting a small group Bible study or prayer group with your kids and a few of their friends (or if they are older, help them start their own small group). It’s never too early or too late to start. No matter the age, you can weave in ways to talk about God’s Word and living out faith together. It can be super laid back where you read from a devotional or a book of the Bible together. You can discuss what you are reading and pray for one another. There are also tons of small group Bible studies available for all ages. Incorporate fun and fellowship in the group as well. Help your children see that following Jesus can be so fun and it is so much better when we are living this life with other believers.
Another thing you can do for your children is to help them find a Christian mentor. Pray about it and don’t be afraid to ask someone to mentor your child, even if it is just getting together periodically to check-in and to be another adult voice to talk to and learn from.
On the LAUNCH page of our website, we have included some links to a variety of small Bible study resources for all ages.
Love in community and friendships looks like this…
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
Strong friendships help each other withstand attacks.
And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12
Friends bear each other’s burdens.
Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
Believers should spend time with each other, encouraging their passions and callings.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25
Friendship among believers is good and pleasant!
Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! Psalm 133:1
When believers are together, God is there.
For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them. Matthew 18:20
Christian community is made up of many unique members with unique roles.
For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Romans 12:4-5
Friends support one another, forgive one another and love one another.
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3:12-14
Bad company rubs off on you.
Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:33
Friends influence one another for good or bad.
Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. Proverbs 13:20
Friends sharpen each other and hold each other accountable.
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17
Be the friend you want to have.
And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. Luke 6:31
Good friends stick with you.
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24
Friends encourage and build each other up.
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Find a mentor; be a mentor.
Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1
Be wise about who your friends are.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers. Psalm 1:1
Outdo friends in love and honor.
Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Romans 12:10
Know when a friendship is toxic.
Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a simple babbler. Proverbs 20:19
Carefully choose your community and friends.
I do not sit with men of falsehood, nor do I consort with hypocrites. I hate the assembly of evildoers, and I will not sit with the wicked. Psalm 26:4-5
Friends tell the truth to your face, even when it hurts.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. Proverbs 27:6
A friend celebrates the good times and cries with you during the hard times.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Romans 12:15
Strong Christian community ignites revival!
And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. Acts 2:46-47
Seek Godly advice where you feel stuck in your calling.
Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety. Proverbs 11:14
Seek Godly mentors; become a Godly mentor.
The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also 2 Timothy 2:2
Look for the good.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8