I read an interesting line in a book written by a friend: “If it’s too small for a prayer, it’s not big enough to be a burden.” Think about that for a moment. Even in our church circles, we tend to place prayer at the foot of the list of options.
I heard someone say recently, “We’ve tried everything else; we might as well pray.” Oops! That’s the place to start, not the place to end up.
I remember reading in my freshman literature class in college the famous words by Alfred Lord Tennyson: “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.” He had the right perspective.
When Billy Graham was asked what the secret of his success in evangelism was, he wisely answered: “Three things — prayer, prayer and prayer.” That was not just a public answer. The main thing he shared with his team before every crusade gathering was prayer. One night in New York in 1957, I recall that he seemed especially burdened and asked all the team members to pray during the entire evening. When he gave the invitation, more than three thousand people responded to the front of the Madison Square Garden arena. It was a marvelous example of the power of prayer.
What is prayer? It is a conversation with God. It includes speaking and listening. Too often all we do is talk, asking God for what we want or need. But the listening part is also very important.
I remember an old Southern Bible teacher named Vance Havner who taught this truth: God ALWAYS answers our prayers. Sometimes He says “yes.” Other times, He says “no.” And sometimes He says “not now.” If you are a praying person, you no doubt have looked back on your life and been grateful God didn’t answer all your prayers, “yes.”
You might have married the wrong person or taken the wrong job. Somewhere in that part of you called a “soul,” you felt a “no” to that decision. Call it insight, conscience or influence, but if you asked for guidance in prayer, let’s call that prayer.
Here’s an invitation. Pray each day for a week. Try being grateful for the good things in your life. Next, ask God for guidance in the things that may trouble you. Finally, pray for a friend whose needs may be greater than yours.
You won’t change God’s mind, but you may discover your attitude changes in the process. Yes, “if it’s too small for a prayer, it’s not big enough to be a burden.”