Even before COVID-19, more than one in five adults in the U.S. said they felt lonely or isolated.1 Research shows that chronic loneliness even has negative effects on our physical health.2 We all need meaningful connections with people we care about, who care about us. How do we do that?
Start by Being a Friend
Do you want friends who will encourage you? Then become an encourager. Want friends who will help you grow as a person? Then practice listening, and show that you’re willing to change when you learn new things. Whatever you want to see in others, work towards becoming that friend yourself.
- Start Praying for Others.
Ask someone you know, “How can I pray for you?” Write down what they tell you, then pray for them regularly. Our Prayer feature makes it easy to keep track of everything you’re praying for. Not sure what to pray? Try Verse of the Day Stories. Every day has a Prayer you can pray for yourself—and for friends. When you pray regularly for other people, your empathy and concern for them grows.
- Start Having Honest Conversations.
Relationships are built on trust. Trust goes in both directions. Don’t just talk about yourself. Ask a lot of questions, actively listen, and don’t judge. Not sure what to talk about? Do a Bible Plan together, and schedule a regular time to video chat about what God is showing each of you. (Verse of the Day is great for this, too.) The more you invest in each other, the more you’ll enjoy your times together.
- Start Serving Others, Together.
Serving other people helps you beat loneliness, by taking your focus off yourself and giving you a sense of purpose. Millions of people have lost jobs during the pandemic.3 (If you’re one of them, we’re so sorry.) In most communities, food banks and other charities are busier than ever. Find services with social distancing and sanitizing policies that you’re comfortable with. Or, if you’d rather not leave your house, look for places where you can serve online.
- Start Inviting People.
Look for Suggested Friends in your Bible App Home feed. You can also tap the Friends icon () at the top of your app, or go to More, Friends and add people from your contacts. Also, be sure you check your Friend Requests in the app. However you choose to add friends, we recommend that you ask only people you actually know, so you’ll be able to have honest exchanges with people you trust.
Whatever You Do…
A Prayer for the Lonely
Father, please meet me where I am. Lord, send people who will reach out to me, and give me ideas of people I can reach out to. Give me courage and strength, and please rescue me from my loneliness.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen