Join our Mailing List
ECFA Accredited

Call to leave a prayer that will be heard around the nation.

Call to leave a prayer that will be heard around the nation.

×

Pray With Others

Record a prayer to share with others.

Dial 844-599-7729

Dial 844-599-7729

Up Next:

Categories:
Articles Videos Events
171 People Prayed
436 People have read this article

HOW TO DEAL WITH LONELINESS AND DEVELOP MEANINGFUL FRIENDSHIPS

Father God, help us grow mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially. Free us from the bondage of connectivity without real connection.

Bill Clinton says it’s his favorite song. It’s a Beatle’s classic still played 50 years after it’s debut. It strikes a chord with multitudes because we so identify with its theme.

“Ah, look at all the lonely people. Ah, look at all the lonely people.”

The spotlight shines on an aging woman then transitions to an unappreciated pastor.

“All the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong?”

She dies. “Nobody came.”
He officiates then meanders away.

“All the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong?”

How could you not guess the memorable, “Eleanor Rigby”?

A century before, Henry David Thoreau captured the same issue of loneliness. He stated, “The mass of humanity live lives of quiet desperation.”

From a biblically-informed perspective, we know there are three basic needs of humankind:

  1. Transcendence – reaching beyond physical to spiritual
  2. Significance – having purpose in life
  3. Relationship – having human connectivity/friendship

God designed us for meaningful human interaction. He stated in Creation, “It is not good for man to be alone” (Gen. 2:18). Romans 14:7 tells us, “No man lives to himself, alone.”

In civilized societies, the ultimate punishment for serious repeat offenders is long-term solitary confinement. Recently released Turkish prisoner Pastor Andrew Brunson said that weeks in this condition brought him to a place of despair and near suicide.

The Loneliness Pandemic

This year the United Kingdom made political history by instituting a new government position, “The Minister for Loneliness”. Facing a serious national health problem stemming from increasing social isolation, the initiative was launched because of alarming numbers of people experiencing dementia, heart disease, high blood pressure, depression and suicide. Social scientists postulated that the long-term health effects of loneliness are equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day!

Cigna health insurance company conducted a nationwide study revealing nearly half of the respondents said they feel alone or increasingly left out. 40 percent stated they “lack companionship” and “their relationships aren’t meaningful.”

Former US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy published in the Harvard Business Review his same concern. “During my years caring for patients, the most common pathology I saw was not heart disease or diabetes; it was loneliness.”

We must face the brutal reality of  a serious crisis, a growing epidemic of loneliness in our society today. Ironically, research shows its most prevalent among younger people who feel they’re the most “connected” yet in reality lack meaningful relationships and real interpersonal support.

Primary Reason for the Problem

Augustine said, “Thou hast made as for Thyself and our hearts are restless until they find rest in Thee.”

The father of our faith, Abraham, came into relationship with his Creator and scripture said he was not merely a servant but “the friend of God” (Jam.2:23).
Likewise Jesus reassured His disciples they were not just coworkers but “friends” (Jn.15:15). Friendship is a basic human need designed by God and He intends for us to first and foremost find it in Him.

What a difference this represents in Christianity from other world religions having a distant, angry “Allah” figure or multiple, mysterious “Krishna” entities that must be appeased by performance and good works.

So in our society increasingly drifting from authentic relationship with the true living God, it should not surprise us when the void is left unfulfilled. “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every human being that cannot be filled by any human thing but only by the Creator Himself in the Person of Jesus Christ” said 17th century French theologian Blaise Pascal.

“And in the naked night I saw, 10,000 people maybe more. People talking without speaking. People hearing without listening. People writing songs that voices never shared. No one dared. Disturb the sounds of silence.” – Simon and Garfunkel

So we trot out reruns of favorite TV shows like “Friends” and “Cheers” and cry in our beer singing nostalgic songs like “You’ve Got a Friend” (James Taylor) all the while wrestling with nagging loneliness within.

Friendships fizzle so people in desperation opt for other alternatives: perpetual singleness; LGBTQ alternatives; drug and alcohol escapism; suicide; or simply settling for the safe companionship of a friendly dog which the American Heart Association confirms reduces health risks and can lengthen lifespan.

The Social Media Solution

Mobility in society, casual divorce, dissolution of the family, deception of the “Gay” lifestyle, unsatisfactory promiscuity and “one night stands” all exacerbate lonely living and the continued quest to satisfy the friendship factor.

“What about social media and the advantage of incredible connectivity?”

Unfortunately the reality is the opposite of what scores have come to believe. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or any of the many modern-day supposed friendship-building, connectivity-enhancing devices give scores the illusion of multiple friendships that are often simply superficial substitutes for human contact. This is not the same as quality interaction and intimate friendship.

Real friendships take much more than simply “friending online” producing shallow relationships all the while deceiving us into believing we have thousands of Facebook “friends”. Authentic friendships require an investment of time, what Aristotle called “sharing salt together”- not just sitting together passing salt across the table but sitting with another across the course of their lives, sharing it’s savor.

“The desire for friendship comes quickly; friendship does not.”    – Aristotle

Addressing an Addiction

Admit it or not, Americans are distracted by and addicted to social media rather than socializing. Survey numerous studies that show similar findings: 33% would rather text than talk on the phone; 3 in 4 Americans bring their phones to bed; 25% say the last thing they see before retiring is their phone; 93% sleep with their phones within arms reach; 55% acknowledge they are missing out on valuable time with family and friends but still do it; and, 45% of Americans admit they have not made a new friend in five years.

Defeating loneliness and developing substantive versus superficial friendships starts by repenting, receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, then committing to obey His Word as revealed in Scripture.

Next, we use our smart phones and computers wisely and purposefully. We make a quality decision to not let them become a substitute for real friendship building. We also purpose to drop the excuses for a lack of meaningful friendships like:

I’m introverted.
I don’t like going to new places.
I’ve been betrayed/dumped.
Texting is more convenient.
Human interaction is risky.I fear being rejected.

Dealing with loneliness and developing meaningful friendships are significant for our emotional, mental and spiritual health.

Jesus in His humanity modeled for us the need to grow in 4 major areas: Mentally. Physically. Spiritually. Socially. “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and with man” (Lk. 2:40 KJV).

Here’s the deal: Because of the prophetic significance of this topic and the tremendous potential it affords Christians in helping hurting and hopeless multitudes, I plan to continue this commentary. I’ll provide you next week with a biblically-informed overview of the 10 characteristics of friendship and 10 proven ways to make and maintain meaningful friendships in your life.

Larry Tomczak is a cultural commentator of 46 yrs, Intercessors for America board member, best-selling author and a public policy advisor with Liberty Counsel. His innovative video/book, BULLSEYE, develops informed influencers in 30 days (see www.bullseyechallenge.com). Hear his weekly podcast here.

171 People Prayed
436 People have read this article

One Reply to “HOW TO DEAL WITH LONELINESS AND DEVELOP MEANINGFUL FRIENDSHIPS”

  1. Dear Sisters & Brothers in Christ, I can really relate to this topic!! My major Prayer is for the Lord to release a Great Gigantic Powerful Movement to release Healing Prayer & Massive Compassion, combined with a Fasted Lifestyle, like Daniel and his friends, in every Bible Believing Church. That is, the Incorporating of His Inner Healing and Transformation Teachings, which are really the Teachings of Jesus, being really absorbed, lived & taught. Such ministries started basically with Agnes Sanford, elijahhouse.org, christianhealingmin.org, Leanne Payne, ministriesofpastoralcare.com, David Seamands, Healing Damaged Emotions, to name a few. The thing is, that a lot of us have been emotionally wounded in our lives and we need to learn how we are still operating in our “woundedness”& and operating in our “old natures”. In our churches we have Sunday morning & other days sevices, Sunday School, Bible Studies, etc, but do we have any teaching and training in the healing prayer ministries I have mentioned? Maybe there are many churches that do have these healing ministries available, but this needs to be in EVERY Church. That is my Prayer. Lord, release the laborers! A lot of people in our country are fatherless, and parentless, suffer a lot of abuse, dysfunction, abandonment. A lot of us need to be re-parented and recognize what we need to repent of, find healing & transformation,provided by Jesus’ ministry, of compassion & Love. Through many twists & turns, I learned I came from a “dysfunctional family” where I experienced some emotional & sexual abuse and ended up going down the “wrong” path until I was about 37, when I had the opportunity to ask Jesus into my life. I still had a lot of pain in my life, but after many years I was introduced to the Holy Spirit! and the Lord led me on a journey, introducing me to His Ministry of Transformation & Inner Healing. Along this journey I discovered many churches & God’s people seemed to lack support for a ‘battered wife” with three young daughters. There were some people along the way now and then, but it has been basically a long & lonely road. Thanks be to God I didn’t give up on the Lord & He hasn’t given up on me! I am strong in Him and His Mighty Power to reach out to those in the road who are suffering & life of wilderness. And the Lord Always provides Manna I need since He is the Bread of Life for me. The Holy Spirit Always guiding me how to minister and pray for others especially my daughters. Restoring what the locust has stolen!!
    BTW there are ministries for “Cities Transformed to Christ”, sentinelgroup.org, george Otis, Jr.
    transformourworld.org, Ed Silvoso

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share to My Groups

Login

Forgot password? Click here to reset it.

Don't have a login? Click here to create a new account.


Sign Up to Pray for
Your Elected Officials

You will receive our weekly e-alerts.



Already have a profile? Click here to login.

Privacy Policy/Terms of Use

Our policy and terms of use are applicable in any and all Intercessors for America related websites including but not limited to GetAmericaPraying.com and ifapray.org.  Use of this website indicates agreement with its terms of use policies.

We are concerned about and respect your privacy while visiting our web sites. Intercessors for America will never sell, lease or rent your confidential information, though non-confidential information (name and address) may be given to outside vendors. We always will endeavor to take steps to assure that financial information you provide to us will remain secure. We want you to feel safe in your online experience while visiting our site. We, therefore, request that you take a moment to review the following valuable information.

Collection of Information
Intercessors for America does not collect personal information without your knowledge while you are visiting our web site.

However, Intercessors for America allows you to provide personal information on our web site. The type of information we collect directly corresponds with the service you request. For instance, you can make donations, offer your thoughts, opinions, prayers, concerns, ideas, personal experiences, questions and/or suggestions. The type of information we collect is only voluntary and used for purposes of interacting with the website or with others viewing the website.  Also, the information may be necessary to facilitate our response to your specific request such as your name and contact information.

If you request to have a resource sent to you and/or make a donation, Intercessors for America will collect the information necessary to complete this transaction which may include your contact information, credit card number and other transaction information.

If you offer your thoughts, comments, opinions, concerns, ideas, personal experience testimonies, request prayer, ask questions, etc., Intercessor for America collects that information and may use the information in one of the ways set forth in the following section titled “Use of Information.”

Use of Information
Intercessors for America uses the information provided by you to:

Disclosure/Sharing of Information
As stated above, Intercessor for America does not sell, rent or lease your confidential information to others. On some occasions, vendors will approach Intercessor for America with a product that we determine might benefit our supporters. In that instance, we will provide non-confidential information.

Regarding links to third-party web sites
Intercessors for America’s Privacy Statement does not govern any exchange of information between you and any third party web site. IFA does not monitor, and is not responsible for, the privacy and data use policies of its corporate sponsors. We recommend you review their policies (likely to be found on their web sites) prior to accessing, but especially before sharing any personally identifiable information. Similarly, this Privacy Statement does not govern the privacy practices of any third party web site to which you might link from the IFA website.

Ability to Edit and Delete
If you would like to correct, update, add, or delete personal information, simply let us know by calling us at (800) USA-PRAY or write to us at Intercessors for America  P.O. Box 915  Purcellville, VA 20134 and we will respond promptly to your request.

Changes
Intercessors for America reserves the right to make changes to this privacy policy at any time and requests that you review this policy for updates.

Content Disclaimer
Please understand that all postings, messages, text, files, images, photos, video, sounds, or other materials ( “Content”) posted on, transmitted through, or linked from this website, are the sole responsibility of the person from whom such Content originated. More specifically, each person is entirely responsible for each individual item (“Item”) of Content that they post, email or otherwise make available via the Service. Please understand that IFA does not control, and is not responsible for Content made available through the Service, and that by using the Service, you may be exposed to Content, as much as we try to prevent it, that is offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. For the health of the IFA community you must agree that you will evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of any Content, and that under no circumstances will IFA be liable in any way.  Be wise and understand that IFA does not pre-screen or approve Content generated by our community of website users, but IFA does have the right (but not the obligation) in its sole discretion to refuse, delete or move any Content that is available via the Service, for violating the letter or spirit of the terms of understanding or for any other reason. If you ever find objectionable material please contact us at 800-USA-Pray or use our contact form to notify us.

Questions or Suggestions
Please direct all questions or comments regarding this privacy policy to Intercessors for America at  Intercessors for America P.O. Box 915  Purcellville, VA 20134

This web site may provide links to external web sites maintained by individuals or organizations external to Intercessors for America. Once you access information that links you to another web site, you are subject to the privacy policy of the web site containing the information you have linked to.

Online Personal Safety
We hope and pray that all intercessors involved in Intercessors for America are trustworthy, well-meaning, and have a heart for prayer for our nation.

However, please take the same common sense precautions online as you would offline. People online are not necessarily who they say they are or seem to be. Never give out passwords, credit card information, or other private data. Be very wary of disclosing private information to a stranger you meet via prayer messaging. Even apparently innocent information, like the name of your employer, can be used against you by scammers.

When meeting with someone for the first time to gather to pray or establish a prayer group in your local area, please remember to:

Taking these precautions will help make your online experience safer. Any risk in using Intercessors for America’s online web tools to connect with others is assumed by you. Intercessors for America disclaims any liability or responsibility for acts, omissions, or conduct by you or any other party using its online web tools.

For more information about online personal safety, check out these resources:

Statement of Use
All of the content, images, logos and photos appearing on this website are copyrighted and are the property of Intercessors for America. Other images, brands or logos are copyright of their respective owners. Information and images found on the site cannot be reproduced either in print or electronically without express written permission from Intercessors for America.

The IFA or GAP Web Site may contain links to third party web sites such as those posted by members of the Get America Praying website.  These third party web sites are not controlled by IFA. The links to these web sites are provided for convenience. IFA is not responsible and assumes no liability for the contents of any of these web sites, and unless expressly stated does not endorse these web sites or their contents, products, or services. IFA is not responsible for the content of any sponsor’s Web page linked to the IFA web site, and the opinions and views expressed on the sponsor’s Web pages do not necessarily reflect those of IFA. The contents of the sponsor Web pages are not reviewed in any way before they are linked to the IFA web page. Intercessors for America reserves the exclusive right to remove any links, posts or members that it deems necessary for any reason. The intended usage of the website is for the facilitation of prayer groups.  Requests for donations other than for the owner of the site, posting of blogs and misuse of site is expressly forbidden.  Inactivity of any group or site for more than 90 days will constitute an automatic removal of the member or group from the site.

Skip to toolbar
Share