Think of two people from among your friends and siblings. It doesn’t matter if you know them well or if you have just met, but they should be people in whom you are willing to invest intentionally. Give each of them a call today and ask them two questions:
1) How can I pray for you?
2) How can I be a better friend to you?
These are pretty open ended questions, and in every case seem to come from way out in left field. That, in itself, is very telling. It shows me that I need to do a far better job at investing in my friends - building and maintaining these close relationships upon which my life depends.
Sure, I make time for movies with friends. I catch a few football games with the guys. I have my running partners. I'll meet for coffee to catch up with someone I haven't seen in a while. But when I think about how often I pray for my friends ... I come up short.
Prayer in my circle of friends seems to be limited to before and after Bible study. Something we do once or twice per week, and only under "appropriate" circumstances. This needs to change. Prayer should touch every part of our lives and relationships, and I'm going to make a concerted effort to be intentional in praying for my friends.
The resounding constructive criticism that I received is that I need to work on keeping in touch with my friends. I need to check in more often, not just to keep up with what's going on in their lives, but to update them on what's happening in mine. Just as I want to invest more in my friends, it seems they also want to invest in me ... but they can't if I keep closing off lines of communication.
It turns out that Facebook is a great way to keep in touch ... but it doesn't trump a phone call. And my cell phone doesn't trump spending time, face to face, building that relationship. I need to isolate myself less and be willing to trust my friends more.