1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (NIV)
When my husband retired and we moved to the area where we now live, it wasn't long before we found a group of people who enjoyed playing games together. And when I'm seated around the table, surrounded by friends, my life is enriched as we exchange stories which often lead to great gales of laughter.
I have made it a practice not to write about these friends, what they say or do, but today, I want to make one exception. (I've asked for their permission.) Conversation during these games nights tends to come in small outbursts — small tidbits of information in between hands or when the game is less intense.
Sometimes the conversation turns into an "organ recital" where one starts the recital by talking about their latest surgery, Bill's new knee, a visit to the doctor, the most recent cure for arthritis, or some unusual item in the news.
When one man was asked about his parents' health, he replied, "There's nothing wrong with them. Mind you, he can't see very well, and she can't hear. But together they are doing okay."
Yes, games nights have provided laughter, fellowship, and friendship over the years. But I have found one other characteristic that makes these groups extra-special. It's how they care for one another. Recently, right in the middle of another "organ recital", the game came to a halt, and the friends started a new conversation. This time, they were talking to God, in prayer praying for someone who needed comfort and healing.
Prayer: Dear God, we are so thankful to have friends who take time out of whatever they are doing to pray for us and others. Help us to remember that we can come to You with our prayers of petition and thanksgiving at any time. Amen.