Friends, Family & Forgiveness Fridays

Day Six in “Days of the Week Prayers”

Today is day six in “Days of the week Prayer,” and I have to tell you, I am feeling less than articulate today. Part of me wants to put down my computer and just go read a good book. But someone else is telling me to keep going, there is a message here that needs to be spoken.

This Friday, Good Friday, the Friday before Resurrection Sunday is especially important. It the day that we remember His Finished work on the cross. It is because of His death that we can have forgiveness; because of His stripes we can be healed; because of His resurrection we can have everlasting life, life more abundant.

As with every other day of the week prayer, once I start writing about prayers that go with that day, more words surface that complement the theme. Originally, today was “Friends and Family Fridays,” and I do pray for my friends and family on Friday, but as I prayed through my whole prayer list earlier in the week other ideas stood out as well; Forgiveness, Faith, Fear… All of these elements are intertwined. 

I have been blessed with a rich heritage of a family who love Jesus. God has blessed me with a quiver full of friends as well.  The relationships that are the deepest are that because of forgiveness.  First the forgiveness of God for all of our shortcomings and sins and second the forgiveness we give and receive in our relationships.   

There is a saying that goes “Love means never having to say you are sorry.” I guess in some sense, the idea that we can be secure enough in a relationship that any offense will not break it is sweet, but probably not very realistic. As long as there are fallible human beings we will need to be armed with forgiveness. 

Fortunately for us, God freely offers us forgiveness through His son Jesus. In I John 1:9, we are told, “If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleans us from all unrighteousness.: In turn, we are directed to offer that forgiveness to others in Ephesians 4:32 “And be ye kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ’s sake, has forgiven you.”

So, on Fridays, I take the time to thank God for loving me and for the gift of forgiveness through the death of His son, Jesus, on the cross and ask Him to remind me of where I need to have forgiveness and offer forgiveness. Here is a sample:

            Please bring to mind the things I need forgiveness for:

                        Allowing bitterness to have even one spot in my life

                        Not wanting to forgive or love those who have hurt me

                        Not having faith

                        Making decisions based on fear and not faith

It is true that the people who are the closest to us are the ones who can wound us the greatest. That is why forgiveness is so vital to the health of our relationships with our family and friends and is such a good starting point in our prayer lives. 

In all transparency, this is a tough one for me. We are told to do everything that is within our power to live at peace with all men. And I try. We are also encouraged to pray for those who spitefully use us, and I do. But in truth, when it comes to reconciling broken or wounded relationships, I operate out of fear way too often. So here is my prayer for this:

            Help me to not give in to temptation to gossip or rail on the people who have hurt me. 

            Help me to love with the unconditional love that can only come from you.

            Help me to desire to love.

            Help me to live at peace with all, and help broken relationships to be restored.

I pray for our family, that they would know joy and reconciliation, that there would not be bitterness toward one another or God, that they would be able to be at peace with their families, that they would have forgiveness and love in their hearts and more than anything, know the power of your salvation.

When I think of praying for my family, of course my husband and children are at the top of that list. When the kids were little, I would pray for them “to know and love You, Jesus,” every night. And I am so blessed that God answered that prayer. As they are now married adults, my prayers for them have become lengthier and more involved, but a while back, it dawned on me, the prayer still needed to be for them to know and love Jesus. 

Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

As with praying for my children, my prayers for my husband do not only happen on Fridays, but every time they come to mind. However, I know the role of husband and father is one of grave responsibility, so I pray some pretty serious and detailed prayers for him. 

Please give him wisdom and gentleness. 

Help him to have clarity of thought and be able to organize and prioritize his work for his family, ministry, and job. 

Please give him joy. 

The root of these requests come from Ephesians 6.

Friday is also a good day to stop and thank Jesus for my friends and to lift their needs up to Him. 

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. 10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. ….  12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. Ecclesiastes 4

Often these friends appear in other places on the prayer list, like Ministry Monday or Thirsty Thursday. But Friday is the day I lift them up in prayer regarding their health, occupations, families, needs, hurts, and joys. Philippians summarizes my prayers for my friends well. 

Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy… May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ — for this will bring much glory and praise to God. Philippians 1:3-4, 11

Sometimes in our prayers, we are too overwhelmed to even know the words to pray. So, with open surrendered hands, I remember Romans 8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

And also remember, Matthew 7: 7-11 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.“You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? 10 Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! 11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.

Keep on asking. Keep on praying. Keep on believing. 

Published by Keri Willis

My name is Keri Willis. I am a semi-retired educator. I spent a great deal of my career working with adults with developmental disabilities and many years in elementary education, in the classroom and as an administrator. My main ministry now is coordinating the women’s ministry for our church in San Diego, CA. I have been married thirty-four years and have two grown and married children. I now have a head of full grey hair and good ideas. I believe we are created to use our gifts and to be creative. That comes in many forms for me. I love to woodwork and use power tools, design, decorate, garden, and create new recipes. And I love to write. One major lesson I have learned in my writing journey is that I need to be still and listen to hear God’s voice before I am prepared to put into words the message he has instilled in my heart. This has been much easier since I am no longer working full time, but it is so easy to get distracted and not listen, which almost always ends with an empty page in the form of writer’s block. While I have written many articles for newsletters and local newspapers, I did not consider myself a writer until I self-published my first book, Teapots and Power Tools. The idea emerged as I was working on a project in my garage. I had worship music playing, power tools out and saw dust flying. I glanced up and saw my delicate teapot sitting on my router table. The message was clear. Sometimes we are using the power tools God gives us and sometimes he just wants us to be still and have tea with him. The book became the foundation for a women’s retreat, and then my amazing niece helped me work through publishing it on Create Space (now KDP). At least five other projects are in different stages of production. I joined hope*writers to help motivate me and keep me focused and accountable. I am still trying to figure out the whole website and blog thing. That is my next goal for myself; that and finish writing at least one of my projects! Teapots and Power Tools: Effectively using the tools God has equipped you with, while taking time to “Be Still and Know That He is God”

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