We live in a world that is spiritual. It seems we enjoy the notion of being connected with the divine, and so we worships all manner of things, in all manner of ways. Arguably though, for all our spirituality we don’t live in a world that want’s friendship with God.
In Psalm 25: 14, the Psalmist writes, “The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes his covenant known to them.”
The Hebrew word for friendship here, is the word “sowd.” It’s a word which means intimate counsel or advice. It is the counsel an intimate friend gives to another intimate friend. Sometimes it’s translated as secret, because it’s to your closest friends you tell your secrets. You confide in them.
The Psalmist understands something which is come to God as a friend, who we can confide in and who confides in us.
Perhaps the question for any of us when we come to God is do we want Him to confide in us? When we allow God to counsel us, when we accept friendship with God, He tends to rub oﬀ on us. We change. It’s harder to live life the way we were before He was our friend.
The psalmist is aware of this, and repeatedly affirms a simple, but essential attitude toward God as he prays. He opens the Psalm with this words:
“In you, Lord my God, I put my trust” (Psalm 25: 1).
As the Psalm unfolds, it’s clear he trusts God. The God who is his friend, who he can be vulnerable with, who wants the best for him, who is with him when times are tough and a friend who will change him for the better.
Perhaps this is a key to eﬀective prayer. To understand that this is not a religious activity or meaningless ritual. It is confiding in and seeking the counsel of a trusted friend. A friend who might well rub oﬀ on us, and who wants the very best for us.