YOU PRAYED FOR A PARKING LOT?

Dear Goldie,

I am confused to see some people pray about everything, like asking God to find their lost keys, get a parking space, etc.  Do you think God answers these little prayers?  My brother said God is too busy running the universe to care about our little worries.  What do you think? 

Unsure

Dear Unsure,

It’s wise of you to clarify whether it’s any use praying. Let me share with you my personal experiences.

I pray to Jesus Christ, whom I believe is Almighty God who created me, and He invites me to “ask and it will be given you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you…” (Matt.7:7-11).  He also taught us to ask God for our daily bread (Matt. 6:11), which includes everything we need to live physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. He answers big needs (like life and death), and small needs (like requesting a blessing for a child Matt.19:13-15). He responds to VIPs or lowly nobodies (He responded equally to Jairus, the head of the synagogue, and to an insignificant destitute woman on the street – Luke 8:41-48).

Jesus said He cares even when a sparrow falls and we are much more valuable than a sparrow. God has already proven His love for us as Paul reminded us, “He who did not spare His own Son but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things.” (Rom. 8:32) 

Jesus always answer prayers; His answer may be: Yes, no or wait.

He may say yes and gives us what we ask for. I experienced this recently when I needed to look for some specific letters written over 50 years ago, stored in two full cabinet drawers containing thousands of old letters. My daughter spontaneously prayed that God would help me find those letters quickly. Almost immediately after her prayer, I located them! It was a miracle of finding a needle in a haystack!

He may say no if it is not good for us, e.g. Jesus refused the disciples’ request to call down fire on the unwelcoming Samaritan village (Luke 9:54). Years ago when our church experienced a split, we were determined to oppose the other side. We were going to do it the next day but we happened to attend a function where each guest was given a scrolled paper with a Bible verse. 

 

When we read ours, it said “forget the former things… God is going to do a new thing…’’ We never did go back to fight as God said clearly “don’t”. We needed to trust that “our Father gives what is good to those who ask Him”. (Matt. 7:11)

 

He may say wait. We can be sure that when He does not answer immediately, He has something better for us. In our recent big family reunion in Melaka, we wanted a satay party in the home but even for an order of 1000 sticks, no shop was willing to come.

Two days before the party, we were having lunch in Wings Home for the Special Needs youth when we decided we would just order their noodles and curry instead of satay. Then somehow, someone remembered a satay shop they knew and after a few phone calls to locate them, they agreed to come. We saw that when God delays, He has something better for us and indeed, the satay turned out to be cheaper and tastier. I have since learnt to pray about many more things.

What is the purpose of praying? It is not just asking God for things. Rather it is building a father-child relationship of love, dependence, trust and fellowship with our heavenly Father and hearing what He says to us. So the more we pray, the more that relationship is strengthened and this is most precious and worthwhile.

Goldie

Do you have an isssue you need advice on? Write to Asian Beacon’s Goldie Chong at https://asianbeacon.org/dear-goldie/ for her godly counsel. Selected questions may be featured in this column. If you leave an email address, you will have your question answered, whether it’s published or not.

Asian Beacon: Oct – Dec 2018 (Vol 50 #4, p42)

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