Praying Through the Small Things

This morning after Mass, I went to my local Catholic bookstore. On my way back I asked Christ’s permission to stop at the bakery for a bagel. This instinct to ask for something so small caused me to really think about prayer and my relationship with God.

First, I think it’s worth mentioning that I am a child of God and a princess of the Most High. After praying about the bagel I thought, Why are you wasting God’s time with something so trivial? In a world with murder and theft, war and poverty, he has more important things to worry about. Don’t be so selfish! Then he reminded me that he is not constrained by space and time. He has enough energy and time to devote to my small prayers and to the big prayers of those who suffer in anyway.

This small prayer made me think of the prayers of children. In my RE class, the children write down one prayer and they are often small and seemingly unimportant to adults. We see the horrors of terror and broken families while little Billy wants a new bike. To that child, it’s important; and to God, that child is important. As a sign of love, what is important to our loved ones is important to us. He hears the prayers of Billy and myself, although they are small. He hears your prayers for health and safety. He can hear it all!

The final point I’ll make is to pray without ceasing, like St. Paul says. When we invite Jesus into the small decisions, it’s more natural to invite him into the big ones. We tend to seek him in life’s major challenges like marriage, childrearing, and treatments for life threatening illness. He loves answering these prayers but he also wants you to ask if you should go to the bakery on your way home from the bookstore. It is in these prayers over the insignificant things, that we develop a relationship with our Lord. Think about your dearest friends. Are they dear to you because they only showed up when you were going through major life changes? Or are they also their for you in the day-to-day grind of life? Christ is there in both the big things and the little things. But it is through cultivating a relationship in the small things that we can build obedience in the big things.

Scripture is full of God’s invitation to invite him into life’s small dilemmas. Pray without ceasing, be like children, I will come in and dine with you. Of course it is the will of God to love, support, and guide us through all of life’s major challenges. But he also wants to be in our minor annoyances. Guess what, hears literally every prayer, no matter how big or small. In the small ones we are able to learn how to tune our hearts to listening to his response. So today my recommendation to you is to pray the small things: What to have for dinner, what time to go to bed, what color eyeshadow to use. I”m sure he’ll love it!

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