By Laura Bailey, Crosswalk.com
God Isn’t Too Busy for Your Prayers
By Laura Bailey
"Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you." - 1 Peter 5:7 NLT
My phone chirped with the onset of multiple text messages from one of my good friends. She shared that there had been a situation at work and requested prayers to make it through the day. Before I could tap out a few words of encouragement and assure her I would be praying, another message popped up. "I'm sorry I bothered you with this; it's not a big deal compared to other people's problems; I am sure God is tired of hearing my prayers," my friend wrote.
I immediately responded, "No! God always wants to hear from His children. He never tires of you! You can always call on Him." I sent her a short prayer and 1 Peter 5:7, taking a second to petition God on her behalf. For many of us who grew up in church, 1 Peter 5:7 is one of the first verses we learn about how to deal with our anxieties, worries, and general life problems. I genuinely believed the words I shared with my friend, recalling 1 Peter 5:7 to encourage myself on occasion. However, I, too, had convinced myself that my problems or concerns weren't "big enough" or "that bad compared with others" and began to abandon calling out to the Lord during my time of need.
In 1 Peter 5:1, Peter writes to the church's elders, encouraging them to lead by example. He reminds us that we are to submit humbly to God's authority, bringing anything that bothers us to Him. The NIV version of 1 Peter 5:7 tells us to "cast all our anxieties," which is another way of saying throw. I picture a fisherman casting his line into the water. He doesn't softly sling his rod but forcefully hurls it into the water. Peter assures us that God commands us to do the same thing with our troubles, releasing everything to our Heavenly Father.
I have found that when I am hesitant to pray, it is because I’ve placed human characteristics on a Holy God. I worry that I will overwhelm my husband, so I keep my struggles to myself. I treat God like other relationships in my life. I fear my friends will reject me if I share my current concerns, so I stay quiet when they ask how things are going. I paste a smile on my face when I feel burdened by the weight of uncertainty because I don't want to trouble anyone else.
But God doesn't tire, He doesn't get overwhelmed or crushed by the weight of our problems. He cares for His children immensely and gave the gift of prayer as a way for us to communicate with Him on a personal level. That doesn't mean that God will answer all of our prayers the way we desire. Our circumstances may never change. But, He does promise to receive our requests and petitions, provide comfort through the Holy Spirit, and offer the eternal promise of hope through salvation.
In the next verse (1 Peter 5:8), Peter warns us about our Enemy and his plans to destroy God's people. Don't let the Enemy get a foothold; shut down thoughts that God is too busy or unconcerned with your life. Surround yourself with believers that will pray alongside you and encourage you with Scripture. Whatever you are facing today, rest assured that you can release it to the Lord in prayer. No matter how trivial, we can present our requests to our Heavenly Father, who cares for us deeply. As we cast our anxieties on Him, let's sing praises and share our gratitude to the One who loves us beyond measure.
Intersecting Faith and Life:
Do you ever withhold praying over a situation or issue because you believe it isn't significant enough? Free yourself from filtering your prayers, and give everything over to God.
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