In church recently we were talking about prayer and how important it is to keep refreshing our link back to god.
Following on from this, I was half listening to a sermon on TV which was talking about prayer and how easily it can get squeezed out, more on this in a bit.
I got to thinking about people in our lives, in particular 'those' friends.
Most of us know people who we can classify as 'those' friends (and I suspect there's a little in each of us).
I'm thinking about the people we don't really see regularly anymore, the ones who pop in and out, but who we still care enough to help them if they need us.
Sometimes when you're catching up, they talk about a problem in their lives, a relationship split up, a redundency, a family fall out.
You offer to be someone to talk to, to help them, to watch the children while they go out, or just a shoulder to cry on.
As time moves on a bond develops, there's often a daily "just checking in", it might be a phone call, an email, or a visit, but soon the person has become part of your routine.
When things start to improve, there's usually very little said, an email here that doesn't get answered, a phone call there, a cancelled appointment, but little by little they disappear, the "stuff" just got in the way again. We spend time wondering where've they gone?, are they alright?, has something worse happend, was it something I said?
How does that make you feel? Relieved that they've got the support they need, a little sad that they've moved on again?
The truth is, we probably needed them just as much as they needed us and we do feel sad because we've lost something.
Some friends become 'those' more often than others (some quite often).
So should we help those people knowing we will probably end up losing a little bit? Of course, they need us (Matthew 5:41,Luke 10:27,Luke 10:30-37).
In the sermon I was listening to, the minister who was talking about prayer and what we pray for.
"Dear Lord, find me a companion"
"Dear Lord, help me find the job I need"
"Dear Lord, heal me"
Sometimes God answers our prayers and we get exactly what we ask for.
But when our new job begins to fill up all our time, do we still make time to pray?
As we start to build our lives with our new companion, do we start to squeeze our God time to fit in a little more "us" time?
After we're healed do we still remember the gift that was given us, or are we so busy getting on with our life we soon forget?
You see God is our friend, always ready to listen, always ready to help, to love, to guide.
We just need to open ourselves to him, let him support us and guide us before things become a problem.
Don't let the stuff pile up, don't be one of 'those' friends to God...
Without prayer we loose our link, things get blurred, bring God back into focus.