Philippians 4:6 | Matthew 10:30 | Romans 8:26 | Exodus 33:11

“Lord, should I pay with cash or the bank card?”

What types of things are worthy of prayer? 

Big things? Like, “Save us from Pharaoh and his army!” or, “Please take the cancer away.”

Medium sized things? Like, “Should I change my school plans?” or, “Should we break up?”

Small things? Like, “Please let me find a parking spot!” or, “Should I break this twenty or put that on my card?”

How about really small things? Like, “Fried or scrambled?” or, “Please help me get this piece of spinach off my teeth.”

Certainly just the big things and sometimes the medium sized things are prayer worthy, right? Wrong.

The Apostle Paul tells his Christian brothers and sisters to pray about everything

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

Philippians 4:6 NLT

If it is big enough to worry about, it is big enough to pray about. We can take that a step further, even, and say…if it is big enough to wonder about, it is big enough to pray about.

But won’t God get annoyed with us asking about every little detail of our lives?

 And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. 

Matthew 10:30 NLT

It seems that God has a pretty keen interest in even the tiniest details of our lives, down to the number of hairs on your head. If he does not get bored keeping track of things like that, how could you bore him with any number of mundane thoughts or questions?

You might be convinced at this point. “I can pray about anything and everything,” you’re saying right now. “But sometimes I don’t know what to say.”

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.

Romans 8:26 NLT

Let the Holy Spirit help you in your weakness. Turn your heart and mind toward God and let the Spirit lead you.

Time and again, the Lord has made it clear to us that he loves us and wants a relationship with us. He runs to us when he sees us returning to him from far away. He provides a way for us to come near him. He tore the curtain of separation between us. 

Don’t hesitate to give God a call and talk to him about whatever, or ask advice from him about whatever. That is how you do with your friends, right?

Inside the Tent of Meeting, the Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.

Exodus 33:11a NLT

Moses believed all the great things God said about him and Israel. And his faith made him right in God’s eyes. Can you believe the great things God says about you? Can you speak to the Lord as a friend?

Questions for Group Discussion

  • Can you remember a time when someone annoyed you with too many comments or questions?  
  • Do you remember annoying one of your parents with persistent comments or questions?
  • Knowing that God is more patient than anyone, do you think that God gets annoyed by too many comments or questions? If you are not sure, try reading the following scriptures… Isaiah 55:8-9, Psalm 121:2-4, Psalm 86:15.

Application: How NOT to Pray

Sometimes the best way to learn how to do something is to learn how NOT to do it. As a bonus, learning how not to do something is usually pretty funny.

So read the following scriptures* about how to pray. Then, using what you learned, write the worst prayer ever.

  • Philippians 4:6-7 (Worrying)
  • John 15:5-7 (Remaining in Jesus)  
  • 1 John 5:14-15 (Praying with confidence)
  • Matthew 6:5-8 (Praying privately, sincerely)
  • Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 (Keeping promises to God)
  • James 1:6 (Faith in God alone)

How does your awful prayer read? You would never pray that way! You might want to finish this exercise by praying for real…

Suggested (non-awful) Prayer

Father in Heaven, thank you for hearing my every thought, for knowing and meeting my every need. Thank you for wanting to have a relationship with me. Please help me open my heart to you, trust you, and follow you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.