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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Praying Is Not Enough

Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it's all over.

- Octavia Butler



When I went through my break up, I remember telling my friends via a group text message that the relationship was over. My friends expressed a lot of concern, through text message, with some saying that they would pray for me. I can always use a prayer, especially if there is a higher power listening. But at that moment, praying for me was not enough. Actually, I feel like my friends don’t have to tell me they are praying for me. If you are going to pray, just do it. It is between you and God. Telling me “I am going to pray for you” via text message doesn't really do anything for me when I am feeling down and out.

While I don’t want to sound unappreciative, I believe only stating the cliché line “I WILL PRAY FOR YOU” when a friend is in need is a cop-out. Don’t just pray for me. Pick up the phone and call me. Talk to me. Find out how I am doing. Come visit me. 

One thing we all have on this earth is time. And when you give someone your time, it speaks volumes. It’s the greatest gift you can give someone. Especially when they are in need of a friend. I use to be guilty of the same thing (and I am still not perfect at it). Texting is so convenient and it takes only a few seconds but it isn't enough when you have a friend in need.

After college, I had a friend that randomly texted me "I love you" and it immediately raised red flags. Why? Because she is not an overly emotional or expressive person, which is why I became worried. Something told me that she was reaching out for help. So, I stopped what I was doing and I called her. During our conversation she told me about her depression and that none of her other friends realized that she was crying out for help. At that moment, I was so glad that I called her. While I didn't know it at the time, a few years later I discovered that she tried to commit suicide around that time. I can only imagine how I would have felt if I didn’t call her that night and she ended her life. I don’t know if I could have ever forgiven myself.


Don't get me wrong, I am not perfect at reaching out to my friends and family but I am working on being better. I've blogged about this before, but I see it happen time and time again in group messages where a friend reaches out to everyone about something troubling that has occurred in their life and everyone responds with an "I’ll pray for you” or "I hope you feel better" and continues to go about their day. While I am sure God (and the person in need) appreciates your prayers, I am sure they both would appreciate it more if you picked up the phone and called the person… or got in the car and drove to see that person. Remember, the best gift you can give someone is your time. It’s free. 

4 comments:

  1. The best gift you can give someone is your time... that is so true and that is something that alot of us think we dont have enough of these days but if we can just turn off facebook and instagram for a bit, we would find we actually have alot of it! Nice article, im also guilty of not being there as much as i can and im on the road to recovery, thanks for reminding us that being there physically even jus for that warm hug in silence is far better than a million smileys and catchy phrase....

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    1. I am not the best either but I think this is something everyone should be cognizant of. Glad you liked it Soul Sister! :)

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  2. I think its easy to get caught up in your own life, in your own schedule, in your own problems making it a lot harder to recognize when a friend is in need. I do agree that timing is everything. This post is a good reminder that any relationship (whether its a marriage, if you're dating someone, a friendship, or one between family) requires nurturing, time, focus, and most of all love. But let me play devils advocate…sometimes the person in need may have to spell out what they need in a relationship (like the song says closed mouths don't get fed on the boulevard). Because your friends could be going through just as much as you, but you may get so caught up in your feelings that you neglect to see what they are going through as well. So it's better to say…hey call me I really need someone to talk to.

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    1. Damn, homie... You just put the ball back in my court! It does work both ways. But sometimes it's implicit, Ali! It should go without saying. Sometimes your friends should know to call... assuming they aren't preoccupied with their own issues in life.

      Thanks for your input tho... I do need to consider what the other person is going through. :)

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