I was seated at a round table in the fellowship hall of a local church, my hands wrapped around the warm paper cup and my elbows perched amidst the crumbs of the baked cakes which had strayed from the little plate, now pushed aside.
“I don’t bother God with those little requests—lost car keys and whatnot. God doesn’t need to hear my little pleas or complaints. He has people to heal and miracles to work.”
I let the words of the woman across the table sink in a little. I bother God with all sorts of things! My aching knees, fears about my children, prayers for green lights and a good night's sleep—yes, the lost car keys and missing phone too. I never thought that my little requests cast upwards could be an annoyance to my Lord.
But I tested her assertion. Does the Lord really care about our little problems? Should we invite Him into our daily mess or just call in the big guns when our problems are insurmountable? Am I like the Widow who bothers the Judge until he gives into her requests out of irritation? Or am I a faithful daughter who turns to her Father for every need, confident that He has limitless mercy, trusting Him to decide how to render judgment?
In the years since the conversation over coffee and table crumbs, I have reflected back to that discussion. Not only do I think it is okay to take our little concerns to the Lord, I think it is healthy as we build our relationship with Him. We build patterns of behavior slowly, and prayer is a behavior.
It is an act of faith.
His answers to our little requests help build our faith and confidence when life gives us larger concerns. We come to Him in love, and dependence, and confidence as we call out to Him day and night. It is okay to be the persistent widow, for what we are pursuing is a relationship with our Beloved Who will never respond to our love with irritation.