Pray without ceasing.
– 1 Thess 5.7
Have you ever heard someone dismiss prayer with the statement, “God has more important things to do than listen to me”?
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
– Phil 4.6
The apostle Paul was extremely clear that we should pray. A lot. All the time, even. And about everything. So what would lead someone to think that God is too busy or He has more important things to handle than our small little prayers? It could be any multitude of things: a false humility, saying that other people are more important so I will not bother Him; a lack of understanding about the nature of God – the simple fact that He is everywhere, all of the time; a lack of understanding about the character of God, that He loves to take care of His children and He actually is glorified by being the benefactor in our relationship!
James, the brother of Jesus, teaches us plainly that,
You do not have because you do not ask.
– James 4.2
Jesus Himself said,
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!”
– Matt 7.7-11
But Paul is clear. We should pray in everything. Not just in want. Not just in distress. With thanksgiving we are to make our supplications known to God. We should be in constant communication with God, always with a heart of thanksgiving and then making our requests known. Three types of prayer are exemplified in this one little verse: prayer (constant talking to God), thanksgiving (saying thank you) and supplication (making requests).
And it glorifies God to meet your needs! To provide a meal, to provide a spouse (or with hold a spouse, if that will bring him more glory), to guide you through trials, to cure cancer, or to let cancer run it’s course and give the ultimate healing through death, and to end wars!
God is sovereign. He is in control. And He has ordained to use prayer to accomplish His ends. And He is magnified in greatness when we ask Him, rely on Him, and trust Him – and He is the benefactor, the provider, the Almighty and all powerful who takes notice of His small, finite children.
For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.
– 2 Chro 16.9
God is searching out the entire world looking for those who have devoted their hearts completely to Him. He wants to strongly support them. Is your heart completely His? Do you rely on Him and rest in Him? Do you communicate with Him constantly, with thankfulness, and making your requests known? No one wants to listen to an ingrate. Remember His privileges, His blessings, His gifts and thank Him for them. All the time. And let Him know your needs and desires! He is a good father, who knows how to perfectly care for and provide for His own. Nothing is too big or too small, and He is not too busy.