A couple of weeks ago, a friend confided that she had been chastised for wanting something new for her home. Now, I definitely agree we can go too far. Materialism is dangerous, and we would do well to continually seek ways to minimize not only our possessions but also our desire for more possessions. But does that mean all materialistic desires are wrong? Does that mean my friend should never have such desires for her home?
My friend has dealt with a lot lately. Her faith has been rocked and her family’s needs have caused her to miss fellowship with her church family much more frequently than she would like. Most of the prayers she is lifting up right now require long-term perseverance. She is caught in one of those situations where long-term prayer needs seem to make the “small,” short-term requests insignificant.
When I get to that point in my life, I tend to stop praying for the “little” things. My heart is so heavy over the big issues that the little ones seem frivolous. Yet standing there with my friend that day, a thought slammed into my head.
When we pray over the little things, the things that will probably be answered very quickly, our faith is built to keep persevering over the big things.
I asked my friend a simple question, “Have you prayed about it?”
She looked at me dumbfounded. Pray? About that? Really?!?! My husband immediately jumped in, giving the pastoral confirmation that yes, it is okay to pray for something like that.
Then I had to come home and apply that truth. My prayer list consists of at least half a dozen different lost friends and family members for each day of the week as well as many other long-term situations. Then there are those requests that will possibly never have a neat, tidy little “praise!” note beside them. They are situations that are always evolving, always updating, and always requiring perseverance in prayer. Sometimes praying for requests such as these without seeing results picks at my faith, wearing it down.
I must remember to pray for the “small” things, too. Or perhaps I should call them the “short-term” requests. The immediate. The ones with a distinct end point in the near future.
Just the right clothes for my children at the turn of the season.
Wisdom about how what school purchases to make for our next school year.
A friend’s job interview.
Another friend’s safe travel through a storm front.
My husband’s ability to handle a specific situation at church.
A fever to break quickly.
Or yes, even those materialistic wants – those things that we are forced to truly stop and think about when we present them to the Lord in prayer.
Those are faith builders. When we pray for a video projector and get a brand new one for free. When a friend texts and says she’s just come out of the interview I was praying for and everything went well. When she texts back within thirty minutes to say she got the job! When we pray for a solution to an immediate problem and suddenly inspiration flashes. When we pray over a desire and find it either diminish or be fulfilled. Those are faith builders.
Those things remind us to keep praying for the long-term request. They remind us that our rejoicing over each little thing will only be intensified a hundred-fold when God answers the “big” things.
What are your faith-building request today?