Do you ever wonder if your prayers are “too little?” Are you bothering God, pestering him with requests to help you find your misplaced keys, or help you make the green light on your way through a busy part of town? After all, God is the ruler of galaxies– there are over six billion people, let alone the cattle on thousands of hills, sparrows, and lilies of the field for him to consider just on our planet.
I know many people who find it awkward, or even impossible, to offer up “little” prayers. They believe that God is too busy, too important, and “too Holy” to be concerned with their petty wishes. I know others who pray about almost everything– what flavor of ice cream to choose; what color nail polish to wear; whether to join their friends for a game of Monopoly or a trip to McDonald’s… Is there a happy medium; a guideline on what constitutes an “appropriate” subject for prayer? Is there such a thing as a prayer that is “too” little to bring to our Father?
I don’t think so. I think there are prayers that exasperate God because they are selfish and prideful. I think there are prayers that come to God with disrespect and disbelief, and a lack of consideration for who he is. But I think those who come to God asking for his help, his wisdom, his grace, and his protection– no matter how small their request may seem–bless the heart of God and receive his full attention.
God constantly uses the small and seemingly unimportant things of this world to make huge statements of great value. Consider sand. Sand is almost everywhere– it is under our feet, blowing in the wind, all along the beach; it gets in our shoes, between our toes, even in our hair! Sand seems unimportant, even annoying sometimes. We use it for all kinds of things, most of which we consider unimportant– sandbags for weight, sand to play in, or build a temporary sand castle. We use sand to make glass, or to polish stones, or to keep time. A single grain of sand has no value to us, except in the rarest of circumstances, when it becomes the nucleus of a pearl. But God sees each grain of sand. He knows the value of sand. In explaining to Abram about his promise, God said that he would make Abram’s descendants like the grains of sand– beyond counting!
God uses tiny seeds to produce and reproduce big harvests. God uses bugs and insects to create amazing (and sometimes terrifying) structures–giant anthills, enormous beehives and hornet nests, spider webs and more. He uses the simple and even foolish things of this world to confound the wise.
Moreover, God delights in the little things– the details and minutiae. King David, and later Jesus, would be moved to compare our day-to-day living to that of grass, and common birds, and flowers– not because we are not important to God, but because THEY ARE– if the things we take for grated are under God’s constant care, how much more are we!?
Lastly, God ASKS us to be faithful in the little things–to care for the grass and sand and flowers in our midst– to offer up the little prayers and share our “small” concerns with him. I like to remember childhood, and the shared delight of my parents when we made “little” discoveries on nature walks, or learned to make cookies, or grew another inch. It was much easier for them to tie our shoes, but they loved watching us learn to do it. God doesn’t want us to hide in a corner and try to figure out all of life before we come to him. He wants to teach us, help us, and celebrate the small victories with us– as well as the great triumphs.
I think our society has lost its appreciation for the “small” moments and the “stuff” of life. We try to cram our lives full of importance and purpose, only to find it slipping through our fingers like sand.