Prayer for the Little Things
AS we go about our days, we may find ourselves saving prayer for the big problems, the scary issues that defy our own attempts at resolution, the situations where we feel helpless and inadequate. We try to cope the best we can on our own with the daily round of annoyances, failures, aches and pains, angers, disappointments, and anxieties. In effect, God is left out; we use Him only as a last resort or supplemental power to fill in the gaps when human ability doesn't measure up. But Christ Jesus' example and teachings -- especially the Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount -- should impel us to seek the blessings that follow from letting God's goodness permeate every detail of our days. In Proverbs we read, ``Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.''1
Doesn't this urge us to approach every situation, every contact we have with others, every challenge we face, even every small decision or plan we make, with prayer? This prayer need not be lengthy. A moment of inspired understanding of God's control of a situation, of His goodness, allness, and omnipotence; a wordless yielding up of willfulness; even just responding to the peace that comes from trusting God as Proverbs urges can be a prayer that clears the way for healing to prevail in our experience.
Prayer for the little things can often prevent big problems. Big challenges are very often the accumulation of unhealed or unsolved smaller ones. More consistent, moment-by-moment prayer -- constantly recognizing God as governing our thoughts and lives -- can help keep difficulties small.
If we do find ourselves faced with a bigger challenge, our prayers for the little things will have prepared us to trust God without hesitation. We will have gained confidence from every smaller proof of God's care, and we will be ready to witness the healing power of God's omnipotence.
Recently I was reminded to pray for a little thing. I was scheduled to make an international flight alone with our small daughter. I'd rehearsed the challenge of this trip mentally and verbally to all who would listen -- but I hadn't prayed. Finally, I saw that I was assuming the inevitability of discord; I wasn't acknowledging God in all my ways. I immediately began to pray and to yield to God's assurances of care and love for all His beloved creation. I didn't know what form that care would assume, but I was at last trusting God's goodness.
Shortly before the trip, my husband was unexpectedly able to join us on our flight. We didn't have to make the trip alone after all.
As our flight took off, and I held our daughter in my arms, I was reminded of the passage with which Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, opens the Preface of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings.''2 Our leaning can be unreserved, as a baby resting in total trust in a parent's arms. Prayer can enable us to confide in God in this way and to see the blessings this trust brings to every detail of our day.
1Proverbs 3:5, 6. 2Science and Health, p. vii.
Healing through prayer is explored in more detail in a weekly magazine, the Christian Science Sentinel.