Permission to Pray Little Prayers

Permission to Pray Little Prayers

Permission to Pray Little Prayers

I often feel guilty praying little prayers. I have friends right now who need great big prayers. They’re in pain. They’re in mourning. They need a job in the worst way. Do I have any business praying for the rain to stop so my hair doesn’t get wet?

Praying for Dresses and Parking Spaces

Graduate school had been a harrowing time for me. In So You’re Not Wonder Woman, I share some of the many challenges I faced: impending failure, unbearable living conditions (that I’d created), credit card debt, overeating, unhealthy relationships, and depression. I was so thankful to have emerged from that time with a Ph.D. that I wanted a special dress to celebrate. I wasn’t willing to spend a lot on it and it had to be just right. But my shopping had been to no avail. I had to have a dress before the stores closed that night or I would have to wear something I’d worn many times before. I prayed that if the Lord wanted me to have a new dress for graduation, that I would find it at this last store at the right price. I walked into the store and saw it immediately. As I reached to take it off the rack, a sales clerk stopped me and said, “Wait! We’re marking that down.” I not only got the perfect dress inexpensively, I got the idea that it was okay to pray little prayers.

I’ve written before about God answering prayers for parking spaces and beautiful weather for weddings because God is a Gentleman. But I keep forgetting that fact and feel like I’m being a spoiled brat whining at God’s feet when I pray little prayers. This weekend I remembered why you and I have permission to pray them.

The Rain that Wasn’t a Pain

Saturday morning I was getting ready for the annual Women’s Day of Renewal where I would speak on “Secrets of the Spirit Lifters.” I had my hair sufficiently poofed up, but it would be no match for the rain that was coming down. I asked my husband if we had any umbrellas I could take with me. He thought maybe there was one in the garage. Nope! I was pretty sure they were all in our family van which I was not taking to the retreat and which would require me to take on a lot of rain to get to. I decided to jump in the other vehicle and take my chances not having an umbrella.

On the way to the retreat, I realized I didn’t even have a jacket to cover my head. I was NOT thinking about encouraging the women; I was thinking about keeping my hair dry! I decided to pray.

Lord, if you would stop the rain long enough for me to get into the church, I would be so appreciative! Please bless this retreat and make it the best one yet.

I’m going to be completely honest and admit that I didn’t expect Him to hold off the rain–especially as I turned up my wiper speed as high as it would go on the drive there. But I did relax knowing that God would help me, one way or another. I sang along to the praise music on my radio until my exit was in sight. The rain suddenly stopped. The little drops stopped landing on my windshield and threatened to slide down my cheeks.

I was able to get into the church with my materials dry and my hair held high. But nothing could have been higher than my spirits. God cares about dresses and parking spaces and dry hair because He cares about me and you. He seems even bigger when He answers our little prayers.

As I left the retreat I asked one of the organizers how it had gone and she answered, “It was our best one yet.”

And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Matthew 10:30

Has God answered your little prayers and renewed your faith?

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How to Pray Like You Mean It

How to Pray Like You Mean It

How to Pray Like You Mean It
George Mueller is one of my faith heroes. I have read several books about him and by him and continue to be inspired.

He wrote a small pamphlet called “Five Reasons Why Prayer Must be Answered.” George is known for receiving consistent and dramatic answers to prayer and as a result is a highly credible author on the subject. We can be confident pray-ers like George:
How to Pray Like George. George Muller was known for being a prayer warrior and he received amazing answers to prayer. If you want to pray the same way, read on.

1) If we pray according to the will of God, we can be confident of answered prayer. “14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” (1 John 5:14)

2) If we ask in the name of Jesus and for His sake, we can be confident for what we ask. “14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” (John 14:14)

3) If we believe He is able and willing to answer us, we can be assured that our prayers will be heard. “24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24)

4) If we avoid willful sin, we can be certain that the Lord will listen to our appeals. “18 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;” (Psalm 66:18)

5) If we have a history of answered prayer, we can be sure that our God is the same God today. “7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?”

Lest you think that George was a man who believed that wealth, good health, and salvation for all were his for the asking, you should know that:

  • George gave up his earthly wealth to serve the Lord. The Lord provided for him in every way, but he had few earthly possessions.
  • George experienced chronic abdominal problems, though he lived a long life. George saw God using his periodic poor health for his good and the good of others.
  • George wrote that God “did not see fit” to confirm to George that his father was a believer before he died. Yet George continued to believe that God’s will was to bring many to faith through George’s work and testimony.
  • George was a sinner. Although George did not choose to call sin something else and did not knowingly and stubbornly engage in sin, he still led an imperfect, fleshly life. Even so, the Lord chose to bless him with an abundance of answered prayer. In other words, George’s standard for living is not too difficult for us.
  • George spent a great deal of time ascertaining the will of God. Before beginning a bold project and then asking the Lord for His blessing, he often spent months making sure he wasn’t pursuing something for his own purposes.
  • George often waited a long time before seeing the answers to his prayers and even experiencing significant trials as he did so.

Finally, if we want to pray like George, we ought to record our prayers. George was diligent to note the date he began praying and the date of the fulfillment of his request. Honestly, this is a practice I once had, but have let go. I hope you will join me this week in praying like George. If you haven’t read his biography or his book, The Life of Trust, I know you will be blessed to do so.

 

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