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Long Distance Friendship

I have lived in three different states, seven different houses, and attended summer camp for eleven years. I know people all over the place. Literally, I think if I wanted to take a cross-country road trip (which I absolutely do) I would have places to stay along the entire route. This is not to say “woe is me, I have so many friends.” An acquaintance is only as good as you make it. Friends take work, and friends long distance are no joke. It takes intentionality, prioritization, and sacrifice to keep long distance friendship alive.
Some of my dearest friends are friends that I only see once a year. My long distance friends fill me up with truth from God’s word. My long distance friends are steadfast. I will always be grateful for the friends hundreds of miles away. They are one of my greatest treasures.
I have spent much of my life staying in touch with friends. In elementary school, I had pen pals and home phone numbers. In middle school, I had Google chat. In high school, I had FaceTime. Now, in college, I have prayer.
It is so hard in the day in and day out of life to schedule a FaceTime call or phone call. It is often unrealistic to think that I can talk to friends once a week. It’s usually a once-a-month or even a once-every-other-month kind of deal. Walk the Moon said it best, “talking is hard.”
Prayer has completely transformed how I stay in touch with people. Not only does prayer honor the Lord, but it is one of the best ways to keep friendship alive, and I am convinced it is the greatest gift you can give a friend. I have never felt more connected to my friends all across the states than I do when I pray for them. Prayer is powerful.
Two practical ways to apply prayer to long distance friendship
  1. Notecards – I went to target about a month ago and bought a big pack of 3×5 notecards. On each card I wrote the name of a friend. Everyday, I pray for one person. As bizarre as it sounds, the Lord has been so faithful in my life through these notecards. Two weeks ago, after praying for one of my friends, she called me, having no idea that I had spent that entire day praying for her. She began to explain to me how hard her day had been, but how she had felt the Lord’s presence. I told her that I had been praying for her throughout the day. She couldn’t believe it. It meant so much to her.
  2. Google Docs – yes. Google docs. My friend and I started a google doc about a month ago. On it, each Sunday, we write out our prayer requests for the week. We may not be able to call each other that week, but we will absolutely be in prayer for each other. Even now, it has been cool to look back on our old prayer requests and already see some of them answered. It has been such a great way to stay connected and to keep our friendship centered around Christ.
Whatever it looks like in your life, spend time praying for your friends. God will always honor prayer. Prayer refocuses your attention from yourself and focuses your heart on Christ. Gift your long distance friends the gift of prayer; it will transform your relationships.
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Ansley Rikard

Ansley Rikard is an undergraduate student at Wake Forest University. She is studying Communication and hopes to attend Physicians Assistant school upon graduating. For her, home is Charlotte, North Carolina. Ansley loves to laugh, but above all else, she loves the Lord, her family, and her friends.

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