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Posted 01/02/2024 in Christian Mental Health Tips

Engaging in Spiritual Warfare for Your Friends: Lessons from David and Jonathan

Engaging in Spiritual Warfare for Your Friends: Lessons from David and Jonathan

Friendship. What does it mean to you? To some, the word is used only to define the people closest to them who aren’t family. To others, it can also describe a recent add on Facebook or an acquaintance from work or church.

The Oxford Dictionary defines a friend as a person whom one knowsLike & Share on Facebook and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations. Therefore, none of these are wrong, you can feel as much love and friendship toward someone you met online as you do with someone you've known since childhood.

This may seem odd and complicated but it’s not, if you consider someone a friend, then that’s exactly what they are to you, no matter what your reasons are. However, it’s important to remember that like any relationship, there are responsibilities to fulfill in a friendship. You can’t call everyone your friend but not treat them like they are. Friendships are special and should be treated as such.

As Christians, we know that the Bible has a lot to say about this relationship, Proverbs 17:17 for example says that “a friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." This is one way to fulfill your responsibility in friendship, choose to love at all times and in every circumstance.

In this blog post, we’ll be discussing how to fight spiritual battles on behalf of your friends. We'll be using an example from the Word of God and although there are many examples of this in the Bible, David and Jonathan definitely stand out.

Their bond tested by adversity and marked by loyalty, showed us a clear picture of what a Godly friendship looks like. Their historical story found in 1 Samuel chapters 18-20, is a source of inspiration and guidance for all our relationships, which is why we’ll be using it as a guide to cultivate genuine friendships today.

Jonathan and David: An Example of How to Fight Spiritual for A Friend

As mentioned before, the story of David and Jonathan is a touching portrayal of genuine friendship. In it, we find Jonathan, the son of King Saul, and a close friend of David. Jonathan’s father hated David, but he chose to love his friend regardless of his father’s hatred.

To many, this would seem like the wrong thing to do, because his father should be more important, right? But Jonathan was noble, he was a man of true character, faith, and integrity, which at this point his father was not. At this point, David was a good man and Saul wasn’t so Jonathan chose to help David instead.

Jonathan loved David through every circumstance, and David loved Jonathan the same. Here’s a brief summary of their friendship and how they helped each other:

Protection and Warning: In the face of Saul's intense jealousy and pursuit of David, Jonathan warned his friend of his father's evil intentions. Jonathan's loyalty led him to reveal the truth about Saul's plans to harm David, allowing David to escape and avoid potential danger (1 Samuel 19:1-2). 

Intercession and Advocacy: Jonathan interceded on David's behalf with his father, Saul. Despite the risk to himself, Jonathan advocated for reconciliation between Saul and David, emphasizing David's innocence and downplaying any threat he posed to Saul's kingdom (1 Samuel 19:4-6).

Covenant and Friendship: David and Jonathan entered into a covenant of friendship, pledging loyalty and support to each other. This covenant went beyond mere words and demonstrated a deep commitment to each other's well-being (1 Samuel 18:3).

Material Assistance: During David's time of exile and being on the run from Saul, Jonathan also provided practical support. He went to David in the wilderness to strengthen his hand in God, showing tangible support during challenging times (1 Samuel 23:16-18).

Emotional and Spiritual Encouragement: Jonathan's friendship provided David with emotional and spiritual encouragement. Their bond went beyond the political turmoil, offering a source of strength and comfort to David in times of distress (1 Samuel 23:16).

Acknowledgment of God's Plan: Jonathan recognized God's anointing on David and acknowledged that David would be the future king of Israel. This acknowledgment, despite the implications for Jonathan's own position, reflects a selfless support of God's chosen leader (1 Samuel 23:17).

Generational Love: David showed kindness to Jonathan's son, Mephibosheth, ensuring that he was cared for and enjoyed a place at David's table despite his physical limitations. This act demonstrated David's commitment to honoring the covenant he made with Jonathan (2 Samuel 9:7)

Overall, the relationship between David and Jonathan was marked by sacrificial love, loyalty, and a genuine desire to see the other succeed. Their story serves as a timeless example of true friendship and mutual support. 

7 ways to engage in spiritual warfare for a friend or family member Pin it to save it later

How Do We Fight Spiritual Warfare For a Friend?

What does it mean to war for a friend? It means standing up for them, even when it's difficult. It means speaking on their behalf, even when they're not there. It means fighting for what's right, even when it means going against the majority. It means praying for God to work miracles in their lives, even when they don’t ask you to. It means standing in front of all the flaming arrows with your spiritual armor on.

In 2015 the movie WAR ROOM came out in theaters. This was a very compelling Christian movie about spiritual war and all that happens in the spiritual realm. In it, Tony and Elizabeth Jordan have reached the end of their ability to tolerate one another as a married couple, and their daughter, Danielle, is depressed by their constant warfare. However, everything changes when Elizabeth meets Ms Clara who shows her her favorite room, the prayer closet. Ms Clara's faith, advice, and trust in God's divine power inspired Elizabeth to fight spiritually as well and then everything changed. One new friend, one praying friend, changes Elizabeth’s entire life and we can be that friend too.

Although we have praying mothers, fathers,  grandparents, and even husbands or wives there are some things we are just not going to share with them and there are some things we won’t even share with our pastors. But the Bible teaches us to see Godly council Proverbs 20:19. For this reason we need to have Godly friends and we need to be Godly friends.

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Engaging in spiritual warfare for a friend requires an approach that is rooted in biblical principles, we are spiritual beings fighting spiritual forces so we need to fight them spiritually, with the help of the Holy Spirit. This means spending time in God’s word and then talking to Him daily. It means praying for our friends and with our friends. It means loving God and loving them through every spiritual attack.

Drawing from the lessons of David and Jonathan, here are some practical steps we can implement to begin fighting spiritual battles for our friends:

Put on the Whole Armor of God

The full armor of God, mentioned in Ephesians 6:10-18, should be the spiritual attire we put on as we engage in spiritual warfare for our friends. Each piece, from the sword of the spirit to the belt of truth to the helmet of salvation, serves as a metaphorical shield, empowering us to stand firm in our commitment to fight for our friends. Here is more information on the 7 Pieces of the Armor of God as well as an Armor of God Prayer.

Know the Enemy's Tactics

There are many strategies that the evil one uses to fight us spiritually. From lies and deceit to temptation and shame, he will do whatever he can to defeat you in this spiritual battle. For this reason, understanding the subtle tactics the enemy uses is essential for effective spiritual warfare. By recognizing the strategies outlined in the post 4 Tricks Satan Uses to Cause Anxiety, Depression, and Other Mental Illness, you can navigate the spiritual battlefield with a high level of discernment and resilience.


Hold on to the Promises of God for Them

Sometimes life gets extremely difficult which makes it hard for people to hold on to God’s promises for themselves. Amidst the challenges of spiritual warfare, holding onto the promises of God for your friends becomes a source of strength to them. Grounding yourself in the unchanging nature of God's promises will also provide a solid foundation for your prayers and actions on behalf of your friends.

Pray for Them

Prayer is a powerful way to support our friends. When we pray for them, we're basically asking God to step into their lives and bless them. It's like a spiritual lifeline. The Bible in James 5:16 says, "Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed." This verse tells us that the prayers of a righteous person are potent and effective. So, when you pray persistently and specifically for your friends, you're following some solid biblical advice to lift them up and provide support through your prayers.

Encourage Them

Our friends need to know we're in their corner, and that we believe in them and in their dreams. Encouragement is not just about words; it's about actions too. It's like the Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:11, "Encourage one another and build each other up." This verse reminds us of the importance of lifting each other up. So, let your words and actions show your friends that you're there for them and that they can trust you with anything that life throws at them.

Defend Them

When your friends are facing unjust attacks or tough times, you should do whatever you can to defend them. Stand up against injustice and speak up for them. Proverbs 31:8-9 really nails this: "Speak up for those who can't speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute." This verse reminds us how vital it is to be champions for those who can't fight for themselves. When we defend our friends during tough times, we're living out the principles of justice and righteousness in the Word of God.

Help Them in Times of Need

Your friends will go through difficult patches in their lives and those will be the moments they need you the most, that's when you should step in. It's not always about grand gestures or sacrifices; it can be as simple as offering a listening ear or a helping hand. Galatians 6:2 encourages us to "carry each other's burdens." By doing this, we fulfill the law of Christ, which is all about love and caring for one another. So, practical support and a comforting presence during tough times go a long way in helping our friends.


Final Thoughts on Engaging in Spiritual Warfare for a Friend

 The Bible, a treasure trove of timeless tales, unveils numerous instances of friends standing side by side in the face of challenges. From the love between David and Jonathan to the unwavering commitment of Ruth to Naomi, to the mentorship bond between Paul and Timothy, these friendships add rich layers of wisdom and inspiration to those venturing on a journey of spiritual warfare for their friends.

So as we embark on spiritual warfare for our friends it’s important to let the profound truth of John 15:15 echo in our hearts: "I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I call you friend, for everything I have learned from my father I made known to you." Jesus Christ, the ultimate example of a friend who wars for us, invites us to follow His lead. 

Choose today to love your friends unconditionally, pray for them, encourage them, defend them when satan attacks, and help them in times of need, by doing this you will mirror the sacrificial love of our ultimate friend, Jesus Christ.

As you close this post and get ready to go about your day, reflect on someone in your life for whom you can engage in prayerful warfare. Take time to think, pray, and seek God's guidance on how you can be a better friend to them, imitating the selfless love modeled by your best friend, Jesus.

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About the Author: 

Charlene T. Sydnor Hawkins, a dedicated minister and believer, hailing from Charlene T. Sydnor Hawkins sitting down Danville, Virginia, has journeyed through life with unwavering trust in the Lord. Born on August 6, she is a loving wife, proud mother of six, grandmother of twelve, and great-grandmother of seven. With a profound passion for spreading the Word of God, Minister Hawkins has sung in the gospel choir, taught Sunday school, and served as the Chaplain of the Women's Ministry at Olive Branch Baptist Church, Portsmouth, VA. As she continues her educational journey in Theology, she remains resolute in her mission to lead others to Christ and find joy in His presence. Amen.

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