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I have recently become friends with Leah as a result of my first book. We have never met in person. I’m in Ohio and she lives in New York. I love reading her blogs and seeing how her faith is strong through the many struggles in her life. In spite of these struggles she is always focused on Christ and His goodness.

Just so you understand the bigger picture, she is recuperating from some back problems. Her mom has cancer which has spread, and her son also has some special medical problems. You could easily say her plate is full! In spite of all these health issues surrounding her, her creativity continues to flow and she helps others with her encouraging words. She continues to praise God with all of her heart and soul.

Today God was really urging me to pray for Leah. When she lives two states away, I obviously can’t go give her a big girlfriend hug, but praying I can do. I asked God to give her comfort and peace today. We later chatted online and I learned that she was traveling to her aunt’s funeral about an hour away. No wonder she needed my prayers. I’m sure it will be an emotional day for her. As I prayed more specific prayers for Leah, I wondered what else she could possibly endure. Her load is so heavy, so I asked God to give her the strength she needs to get through today.

As I ponder about this blooming, long distance friendship, I find it is centered around some wonderful verses found in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 (NKJV). “Rejoice always.” No matter what Leah or myself face in life, we will always rejoice in the Lord! We are able to face our struggles and blessings with great joy.

For today I will “pray without ceasing,” for Leah as she travels to the funeral and expresses her grief over the loss of her aunt. What a privilege and gift from God to stand in the gap and be a prayer warrior during her time of need.

Our lives will continue to have ups and downs, because that is just life. In spite of those ups and downs we will remember “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” It isn’t always easy to give thanks in those valleys of life, but those valleys do produce a stronger faith as we cling tighter to Christ.

Today was a perfect example of the last verse, “Do not quench the Spirit.” I felt the urge to pray for Leah, and did so. I didn’t know what was going on in her life at that moment, but I did know that she needed prayer. Take time to listen to the Holy Spirit and follow His leading in your prayers. Oh the blessings we receive when we slow down our lives and just listen!

Yes, I prayed for my long distance friend today, but Jesus taught me so much more. I find great joy when scriptures come to life as they did today. In the future, when I am chatting with Leah, or saying a prayer for her, I will always remember 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 and the example God showed me through our on-line friendship. While reading the scripture, my mind was focused on “pray without ceasing” for my friend today, but I learned so much more. God reminded me to rejoice in the ups and downs of life. To pray continually for those around me. I was reminded to be thankful no matter the trials or joys in my life. And to always seek God’s will and listen to the Holy Spirit. What a blessing this morning has been! Spend a few moments reflecting on the scripture as a whole today, and allow the Holy Spirit to lead you throughout your day.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 (NKJV)

How have you been prompted by the Holy Spirit this week to stand in the gap for a friend?

I would love to hear from you. Maybe you have a Long Distance Friend story to share as well!

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