Psalm 133:1      NIV
‘How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!’

Gracious God, as we mark the United Nations International Friendship Day, we give thanks for the gift of friendship. We acknowledge that inequality, discrimination and conflict damage the very core of unity, peace and the wellbeing of others in society. And yet You sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, to teach us to witness to the gifts of Your Holy Spirit; kindness, love, compassion, patience, understanding and wisdom. And so we take a moment to give thanks for our friends, the people who make us smile, who stand by us when times are difficult and make us feel loved and valued. Then we take a moment to think about those in need of the hand of friendship, who may be feeling lonely and isolated today. Lord God, help us to nurture relationships and may the gift of friendship be at the very heart of our communities, both at home and across our world. In the name of Jesus, our friend and living Lord we pray, Amen.