Feeling Lonely? 4 Ways to Grow Your Friend Group—Even from Home

A dear friend will love
you no matter what.

Proverbs 17:17

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.

  1. Start Praying for Others.
  2. So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

    1 Thessalonians 5:11

    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.

  1. Start Having Honest Conversations.
  2. Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.

    Proverbs 13:20

    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.

  1. Start Serving Others, Together.
  2. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.

    Hebrews 10:24

    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.

  1. Start Inviting People.
  2. Love one another deeply. Honor others more than yourselves.

    Romans 12:10

    Look for Suggested Friends in your Bible App Home feed. You can also tap the Friends icon (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…
Just Start.

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

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

Psalms 34:18

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1 Loneliness and Social Isolation: An International Survey.

2 Loneliness Rivals Obesity, Smoking as Health Risk.

3 Jobless Claims Hit 4.4 Million.

When you were a kid, who looked out for you?

He is Father to the fatherless - Psalms 68:5 - Verse Image

Many people would probably answer that it was their parents. But if they weren’t around, hopefully a relative stepped in, or a neighbor, maybe even a teacher. But if no one was there for you… we’re so sorry. Children who need a family are near to God’s heart.

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans…

JAMES 1:27

Adoption is even addressed in the Bible. Moses was adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter. Esther was adopted by her uncle Mordecai after she was orphaned. And of course, Mary’s husband Joseph raised Jesus as his earthly father, even teaching him his trade. Learn more in this Plan:

God’s Got This: A Strategic Prayer Guide for Your Adoption Journey

Even if you don’t feel God calling you to adopt, there are still many ways you can help. The Plan below can help you decide whether your family might want to foster. Or you could provide clothes, food, or even money for an adoptive or foster family. You can offer respite care for families who need a break, or even just a date night. Many states have programs that invite volunteers to mentor kids, and some even ask for volunteers who can take children who are in state custody on educational activities.

Until Every Child Is Home: A 6-Day Devotional on Adoption and Foster Care

Everyone can do something. If you live in the U.S., you can start learning what you can do by visiting AdoptUSKids.org, or look up the Department of Human Services for your state. Also, if you follow Christ, don’t forget: you’re adopted, too!

Some people accepted him and put their faith in him. So he gave them the right to be the children of God.… God himself was the one who made them his children.

JOHN 1:12-13

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How to Cultivate a Heart of Generosity

Woman sitting on a bench watching the sunset

You will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God.

(emphasis added)

Give — to offer to something higher, to make a present of, to place in the possession of another for their use.

What’s your most prized possession? It might be the most valuable thing you own, like the house you’ve worked your whole life to afford. But it could also be a photo from a special time you spent with someone you loved. Or it could be a meaningful gift from a friend.

The value we assign to our “things” is tangled up with our emotions. How we choose to use the things we cherish most reveals our true priorities.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.


There’s nothing wrong with having things, or with enjoying them. The problem comes when our things have us. God modeled what generosity looks like when He sacrificed his greatest treasure for us. When we give like He does, and we honor Him with that giving, it draws us closer to Him.

This is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

JOHN 3:16 (emphasis added)

Here are 3 simple ways you can begin to practice generosity:

Invest Your Time

Are you engaged in what’s going on in your community? On your street? With your next-door neighbors? You can practice being a better listener almost anywhere: taking your trash out, shopping at a grocery store, working out at the gym. Look for common ground with people, and meet them wherever they are in life, with kindness and respect.

Challenge: The next interaction you have with someone, ask how their day is going. Then listen. Be genuinely interested in them. Make the moment about them, not about you.

Invest Your God-Given Gifts

In what areas are you uniquely gifted? Are you putting your gifts and talents to work in ways that will point people toward Jesus? One of Jesus’ most famous parables is about making the most of what God has given us.

Challenge: Find someplace where you can begin using your gifts to serve others. Start small and local, or go big. Just start.

Invest Your Money

The body of believers that you consider home is the first place where you should invest.

Beyond the tithe, here are two options to prayerfully consider giving to:

Bible Translation

Green arrow


Green arrow

But these are just two ideas. God is moving in the hearts of His people all over the world.

Challenge: Find a movement of God that you feel passionate about, and put your treasure where your heart is: Give.

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Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.


You were made for this.

Woman on laptop

God loves you so much. His Word says that He made you, that He has a plan for you, and that He has equipped you with everything you’ll need to fulfill it. (Eph. 2:10).

What’s your next step?

Has your relationship with God changed your life? If you want to grow spiritually, using your gifts to serve others is a powerful driver to do that.

“Be a light for other people. Live so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.”


When you volunteer with YouVersion, your gifts can potentially serve millions of Bible App users every day. And getting started is easy. You can serve anytime, from anywhere. All you need is an Internet connection (desktop or mobile), and a passion for God’s Word and His people.

Each of you has been blessed with one of God’s many wonderful gifts to be used in the service of others. So use your gift well.

1 PETER 4:10

Find your place.

Support Volunteer. Help the Bible App community with technical issues, information requests, and more.

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“I love connecting with Christians from all over the world, knowing that we’re all working together to grow God’s kingdom.”

Anna O.

Localization Volunteer. Are you fluent in another language? Help translate text from Bible Plans, emails, blog posts and more into other languages.

Picture of Localization Volunteer

“I love being a tiny wheel in God’s work in this world, giving people in Croatia, Serbia, and Bosnia the opportunity to read Plans and be encouraged in their everyday lives. And God is working in me. With every new Plan, I learn something new. That’s the greatest thing: to find something new, to hide it in your heart, and to be changed by God so you can help change others.”

Tamara V.

Developer Volunteer. If you’re gifted at developing software, we have many ways you can help us with code.

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“I wanted everyone to have this Bible App so they would never feel lost and give up like I tried to. Till this day the Holy Spirit uses the Bible App to show me my faults, my good, and how much I am loved. I am redeemed but unfinished.”

Therese J.

Community Volunteer. Even if you’re not a “techie,” if you love the Bible App, you can help by serving other volunteers.

Faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”

JAMES 2:17-18

Don’t miss your chance.

Take part in this historical movement of God, happening now. By serving with YouVersion, you can help us fulfill what Jesus said was the greatest commandment: loving God and loving others. (Matt. 22:35-40) Unite with this global fellowship of believers, and take your place as an indispensable, life-giving part of the body of Christ.

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Is God leading you into full-time ministry?

We’re hiring for all kinds of roles, from software developers to graphic designers, and more.

Explore Careers

This #GivingTuesday ❤️ reach the world.

Giving Tuesday

November 28th is Giving Tuesday, a social movement that helps people give back by donating time, money, or influence to a cause they feel passionate about. Celebrated the Tuesday after Cyber Monday, it’s a day to encourage kindness and generosity.

The Bible App is completely free, without any advertising or hidden costs. At YouVersion, we do what we do because God’s Word has the power to transform lives. We hope that engaging with God’s Word through the Bible App has drawn you closer to Him. We’d encourage you to take another step in your journey:

Help other people share in that same experience by giving to YouVersion.


To give directly, inside the Bible App: Tap More, About, Donate.

Help others in your YouVersion community.

Volunteering is another way you can participate in YouVersion’s mission. Around the world, people from all walks of life are helping others engage with the Bible: by helping us localize the Bible App into their language, by providing technical support to other Bible App users, and by helping our communications team review and manage content. You can help, too. All you need is an Internet connection, a little time, and a passion for using your gifts to serve others. Learn more:


Giving Tuesday Social Image

Tap this image to download a version to share with friends.

Help us spread the Word.

Share that you gave, and encourage your family and friends to join you in giving back on #GivingTuesday. Tell them why you support YouVersion, and remember to include the hashtag #MyGivingStory, so other people will be able to see your story.

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