The CPR process is not difficult or complicated. It is something that anyone can do with the people around them.
In 2021, on an October day in Northeast Ohio, Steve Raichilson was playing tennis with his friend when his friend collapsed. Having been trained in CPR, but having never done this before, Steve performed CPR on his friend and after what seemed like an hour, and the arrival of some EMTs, his friend was revived. We all need good friends like Steve. In actuality, most Americans don’t have that many close friends. In the church, we would hope it would be better, but often it is not. We gather together, but we may not connect, care, or pray for one another.
Let me ask you this question. How many people do you have in your life who 1) Care for you, 2) Pray for you, and 3) Reach out to you each month. I am calling this the CPR friend. We all need a few friends who care, pray for us, and reach out to us regularly. In this short essay, we will discuss how you can be that kind of friend.
When you care about someone, you hope the best for them. You support them and you help them as you can in times of need. Caring for others is at the center of Jesus’ life and ministry. We read in the Gospel about Jesus’ friend, Lazarus. When Lazarus died, we have that famous shortest verse in the King James Bible, “Jesus wept.” Jesus cared about his friend.
You can care for your friends through empathy and compassion, feeling with them the things they are going through. This is getting excited when they are excited and feeling their pain when they are down. You can be that CPR friend.
Caring for a friend can lead to praying for them. Many times, in the New Testament, we are called to pray for one another. We read in Colossians 1:9, “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you.” If you know what they are facing, you can pray for them on those issues. If you don’t know what they are going through, you can pray the Scriptures into their life. Later in Colossians chapter 1:9 we also read, “asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.”
A CPR Christian friend prays for their friends each week or at least each month. You can be that CPR friend.
CPR friends are not passive, not only do they pray for their friends, but they also reach out to them as well. There are lots of ways to do this. You can call them, text them, email them, visit them, or just talk with them when you run into them.
A CPR touch can take many forms as we just mentioned. Even just a simple text can bless a friend. Remember, this touch should in some way express your care and concern.
Your CPR List
The friends on your CPR list are not projects, they are just meaningful friends. For some of you, putting this list together may be easy. It may include some friends from church or your community. Your list doesn’t have to be long, and it shouldn’t feel like an obligation.
Don’t be afraid to put new friends on your list. Just ask the Lord who should be on your list. Whoever is on your list provides you with an opportunity to:
If it seems right, you can tell the person that they are your CPR friend. If it doesn’t feel right, you don’t to. There is nothing wrong with just caring for someone, praying for them, and reaching out to them without them ever knowing that they are one of your CPR friends.
Since I have started being a CPR friend to others, my life has been blessed and enriched. My CPR list has also helped me to maintain focus and momentum on something I care about.