Most of us have done this. Maybe the kids are fighting in the backseat. Dinner needs to be started in an hour and you’re still thinking about the coffee stain on your shirt from this morning. Other cars are creeping through the lanes of the parking lot like hunters on safari, looking for an opening.
You sigh: “Lord, please help me find a parking spot.”
Is it OK to pray for something as trivial and menial as a parking spot when there are people in the world with greater needs? Do you really want to take up more space in God’s inbox before he gets to the prayers that “really count?”
Does God care about these little things?
Yes, it is perfectly fine to pray for that parking spot… along with our prayers for the sick, hungry, unemployed, etc… The point is that we should pray always!
Let’s get to the real issue: Real prayer is an attitude of the heart (1 Thess. 5:16-18). It allows us to examine our motives. Praying for a parking spot so we can get to our meeting on time is neither malicious nor selfish, but praying that someone else is late so you can take their parking spot is completely different! We are clearly warned in the Scriptures against prayers of pride, hypocrisy, and self-glorification (click here for How Not to Pray). In one of our pamphlets, we have a list of over 30 things prayed for in the Bible, some of which include a spouse (Gen. 24:12-14), wisdom (1 Kings 3:9), health (3 John 1:2), rain (1 Sam. 12:16-17), etc…
Whether we’re shopping, helping the needy, or at our daughter’s soccer game, we want to continually practice a lifestyle of constant prayer and communication with God (1 Thess 5:17-18; Col. 4:2). It’s a journey that will take a lifetime, but it’s completely worth it! Here are a couple reasons we should bring all requests to God:
God Cares for You
Sometimes we don’t bring issues to God because we feel unworthy or because we think that our son’s math test isn’t that important. Have you ever considered that God has the capacity to care for every little detail?
But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. – Matthew 30:32-33
The above verse is in context of martyrdom, but Matthew mentions that God knows how many strands of hair we have on our heads (some of us have less than others, but that doesn’t mean he loves us less!) Even more so, by praying for every little thing, we are acknowledging that God really is sovereign and does care for us in all ways. We can trust him for everything and anything.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:7
Asking God for help when we’re struggling can prevent us from hurting others. For example, instead of cursing someone for pulling into the parking space when we clearly had been waiting patiently with our turn signal, cast your cares on God, and ask him for grace to bless that person.
Keeping the Focus on God
How can praying for a parking spot be a spiritual practice? It keeps the focus on our relationship with the Lord by inviting him into every situation we face.
Have you ever had a problem so frustrating that you forgot to pray about it? Did you forget God was there for you only to remember later? For a moment, did your problem become bigger than God?
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7
Liking making a mountain of a molehill, we also have to be careful to not make our issue an idol.
Thou shalt have no other gods before me. – Exodus 20:3
Bringing our issues — big and small — before the Lord ensures that we’re worshipping our Provider and not our problem.
To observe the National Day of Prayer, we’re publishing several posts this month about prayer to help you ask questions and dig deeper into your faith. We hope that by doing so, you’ll discover new ways to love the Lord and appreciate the gift of prayer! Subscribe for more!
Sign up for Rose Publishing’s email list to download this eChart now!
This “What the Bible Says about Prayer” eChart describes four kinds of prayer that can enrich your prayer life: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. Read verses about each type of prayer and learn how prayer glorifies God. Also includes biblical tips on how to pray and what prayer is. Experience the peace that comes from diving into a deeper communication with God.
Get this and 8 other eCharts free just by signing up for the Rose Publishing email list.