"Stop! You can't pray that!" a young woman ordered me.
She had just expressed her extreme fear of snakes as we walked through a wooded area.
I had responded by bowing my head and praying, "Dear Lord, please protect us from snakes. May they not harm us, bite us or be seen by us. I pray this in the name of Jesus."
After being shushed by Ellie's command, I turned to her. "Stop my prayer? Why?"
"God is too busy for such an unimportant thing."
"But our fears are not unimportant to Him. Prayers like that are not praying in His will."
My jaw fell open. "You think God wants snakes to bite us?"
"What I mean is, it's not His will for us to pray about such small things."
"How do you know that?" I asked.
Ellie couldn't answer, because my friend believed a myth: God can't be bothered and will even refuse to answer us if we ask for small things.
My experience with God is so very different from Ellie's. My prayer life is so personal, so precious and often, so inconsequential to all the important things happening in the world.
God wants you to enjoy a personal relationship with Him. But I know that the God of the universe stands outside of time, longing for me to include Him in even the inconsequential moments and needs of my life.
True, He's God of the whole universe, but He's also a loving God who has the time and desire to make small talk with me.
That is amazing. And it's in line with Scripture: "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with gratitude, make your requests known to God" (Phil. 4:6).
If you want to sharpen up your prayer life, here are seven secrets you need to know:
1. God wants you to enjoy a personal relationship with Him.
2. Approach God on the small matters.
3. God loves you and has time to listen.
4. God will answer in His time and in His way.
5. The more you bring the little things to God, the more you will build your relationship with Him.
6. As God answers your prayers about the little things, the more you will understand that He really does care for you.
7. The more you practice prayers about small things, the more faith you will have to pray about the big things.
Dear Lord, Teach me how to bring You the small things in my life, so that I can enjoy a deeper relationship with You. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Linda Evans Shepherd is a nationally known Christian speaker and a bestselling author of over 30 books. She's the president of Right to the Heart Ministries, founder of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA) and the founder of GodTest.com. Her latest book is When You Need to Move a Mountain.
This article originally appeared at gottopray.com.
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