Have you ever felt guilty about praying for something small? I used to feel that way. God is almighty and all-powerful, I’d tell myself—why should He care about my minuscule worry, problem, want, or concern?
“I won’t trouble God with something so little,” I’d conclude, then go about handling it on my own (which, let’s face it, never goes well).
I figured I should only “bother” God when it was something life-and-death or super-important.
What I failed to see is that I was putting God in a box, as though He has a limited capacity for handling the universe.
But one day, I came across a Bible verse that tugged at my heart and wouldn’t let go:
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NRSV).
I’d heard it before, always picturing some cloaked monk wandering through hallowed monastery halls, head bowed and hands clasped. But that particular day, the verse troubled me, for I realized these weren’t abstract instructions to someone else but, rather, words written for me, for all followers of Christ. How could I possibly pray “unceasingly”—never stopping, utterly focused and determined? My life wasn’t that dramatic to warrant such prayers!
My brain began to spin. Was it possible God didn’t want me to save just the big stuff for Him, but bring Him most things? Or even… everything? That couldn’t be….
Later, Jesus’s words to His disciples in the Gospel of John struck me similarly. Jesus told them, “Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. … If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:4,7).
Here, “abide” means to remain, to continue, to be in accordance with. To abide in Jesus is to remain in Him—unceasingly, never stopping, utterly focused, and determined. And that is what Jesus has asked of us!
I started to realize praying wasn’t about asking for God’s help with life’s curveballs. It was about relationship! Prayer is a conversation—a bond, a dialogue between me and Him, a relationship rooted in authentic and honest vulnerability. Sometimes that’s the big stuff, but a lot of times that’s the small stuff, too. Turning everything over to Him wasn’t just helpful to me, but it brought new depth to my relationship with the Lord. My prayer life soared with liberation.
My pastor used an acronym the other day that underscores this. He said P.R.A.Y.E.R. stands for:
Prayer makes things happen. Prayer has power! And there is no prayer too big or too small for our God.
Today, I pray I can stay in dialogue with God no matter what the day brings. I hope you can, too. God bless you, friends!