THE SILLY LITTLE THINGS I PRAY ABOUT Andy Hollifield 8-5-17
Matthew 6:5-8 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. (6) But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. (7) But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. (8) Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
I am by no means an authority on prayer and don’t claim to be. I guess I may have a different perspective on some things than other folks but that is why it is a personal relationship we have in Christ Jesus. I read where when we accept the Lord as our Savior, that we become the children of God. After my adolescent years, there was nothing I enjoyed more than spending time with my dad because we could talk about pretty much anything that I wanted to. Hunting, fishing, trucking, mission work, church, or whatever because all of those things were things we had in common. The reason I say that, is because I believe that we ought to feel that same way and even more so about our heavenly Father. The difference is that God already knows what is on our mind so there is nothing hid from him. The bible says in 1 Samuel 16:7 that “the Lord looketh on the heart.” In Matthew 6:31-33 Jesus is talking to his disciples and tells them not to worry about such things as food, raiment, and drink “for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.” Then he goes on to tell them to seek first the things of God and he will add the other stuff to you.
As I began to think about this article, I had to kind of chuckle about some of the things I have prayed about recently. A lot of times, I just talk to God going down the road or when I am piddling down in my building. I talk to him just like I would talk to a friend. At other times, I shut the door and find me a spot to bow down and pray and there are a lot of times when I sit down under my open shed in a lawn chair and bow my head and pray or just sit and talk to him. That is why I mentioned the scripture about God “looketh on the heart.” As long as you are praying from an humble, repentant heart, God will hear. Some of the best times I have ever had with the Lord was when I was driving down the road somewhere in a tractor-trailer and the Lord just rode with me for a while. I remember one time in particular I was starting up Cowee Mountain going from Sylva, NC into Franklin, NC. I was listening to a cassette tape of the Hinsons who were really popular in the ’70’s and ’80’s. They were singing the song, “There’s Power In Prayer.” I don’t really remember going up the mountain that morning but I came to myself as I crossed the top. Anyone that may have seen me would have probably been concerned with my driving at that moment but I have probably never driven better in my life. There is just something about the presence of the Lord coming in to sup with you and making a song ring up on your heart. Some folks might think that is ridiculous but just try it one time. I found out when I was a young single preacher burning up the roads in Madison county and east Tennessee preaching in different places, that God likes to ride with us sometimes just to enjoy fellowship with us one on one. He did that in the garden of Eden with Adam and Eve so I have learned that he wants to visit with me that way too.
I wanted to talk about some of the things I have prayed about that some folks would consider silly. I am a firm believer that if something is big enough to bother you, than it is big enough to bother God with. He wants us to come to him as a child to its father. Anyone that has ever driven a truck and knows God, has done some praying behind the wheel. I am talking about earnest prayer. I remember a couple of snowstorms that I got caught out in where I just told God that I didn’t like the situation at all and I was afraid and needed his help. There were even times when he took the wheel or just told me what to do. When you are sliding off the hill from the square coming from downtown Brevard with a half-inch of powdery slick snow on the road and you are driving an empty truck; you better pray. One morning as I started off the square headed back to Henley Paper in Skyland, a car that was well in front of me, slid sideways across the road. As I slowly tried to turn the wheel so I could get by them when I got to the bottom, the rear of the truck slid all the way around and I was then facing uphill. I just geared down a little and took off back up the hill. If God hadn’t given me the presence of mind to do that, I would have slid all the way down that hill and into that car probably killing the occupants. In those times, you don’t worry about your posture, you just cry out like Peter did.
There have been numerous times that I have just “went to meetin” with the Lord in the cab of a truck. I have prayed going down the road and he has even given me the words to a new song on more than one occasion. I have prayed while on a tractor and prayed “Lord, don’t let me turn over.” One of my favorite times to pray is when I am mowing my yard. The sound of the engine drowning out the outside world and God will just ride with me while I am mowing. Just this week I have had to pray that I would be able to get my mower fixed without taking it to a shop. You wouldn’t think that was too silly if it was your mower. Last week, it was the air conditioner on my wife’s car that was tore up. When it is bumping 90 degrees, I can promise you that it will make you pray that you can get it fixed. I have even prayed for my cattle and goats, especially when they were sick and I had done everything I knew to help them but nothing was working. I have prayed and asked God to help me find a particular tool or something else that I had lost. Prayed to get help finding an address. Prayed a lot of times that I would get off of work in time for church on a Wednesday night, especially when I was pastoring. Prayed a lot of times that he would help me figure out how to get a truck in somewhere when I was making a delivery. Prayed that something in the truck wouldn’t turn over. Prayed that the truck itself wouldn’t turn over. Prayed that I could get through a traffic light before it turned red. I have prayed when working on a washing machine and a dryer. That will definitely make you pray. Prayed for rain to hold off just a little while when I was mowing or putting up hay. All of that may seem a little silly to you but if I was concerned or afraid or even just irritated by something I have found it is always a good idea to pray. The fact is that God knows we have need of all those things according to Matthew 6. He didn’t say just to pray about the big things. In 5:17 of 1 Thessalonians the bible tells us to “Pray without ceasing.” Just prior to that verse he tells us to “Rejoice evermore.”
Like I mentioned earlier, if it is big enough to bother you, it is big enough to bother God with. My dad never laughed or thought something was silly if it was bothering me but he always listened and did his best to help me. He may have known it wasn’t that big of a deal but he knew it was to me. How much more does God treat us that way seeing as how he knows all things already. The difference is that there were sometimes things that were out of my dad’s hands to fix. And sometimes he just didn’t know the answer to what I was asking or what I should do about something. God has never been disturbed and lacking in wisdom or ability to meet my needs.
I heard a story last week about a family that was out of food. It was a single mom with a few children. As they ate their last can of beans for supper one night, she told her kids that there was nothing left in the house to eat and she would not have any money till she got paid. She also told them that they needed to help her pray that God would do something. Little did she know that he already had it taken care of. Sometime later, maybe the next morning, a knock came at the door. When she opened it, a man told her that he had just came from the store and he wasn’t sure why but God told him to stop at her house and give her the groceries he had bought. He didn’t know her and she didn’t know him but it was obvious that both of them knew God. It gets even better. The youngest little boy, probably around 4 or 5 started digging through the boxes or bags whichever it was. His mom asked what he was looking for and he told her “gwahm quackers.” Not wanting to see him disappointed, she told him that there might not be any graham crackers. About that time, he pulled out a box. In her amazement, she asked him what made him think there was a box of graham crackers in those groceries. Without missing a beat he said, “cause that’s what I pwayed for.” I figure if he can answer a toddlers prayer for graham crackers, he can also handle all the silly little things I sometimes pray about. James 4:2 says, “ye have not, because ye ask not.” The next verse says “ye ask and receive not, because ye ask amiss.” Just ask him and see what he tells you no matter how silly you think it may be. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!