One of the most insidious tactics of the enemy in my life has been the whispers that say:
Your concerns are insignificant.
That’s too small to even pray about.
This issue doesn’t really affect the kingdom, so God doesn’t care about it.
This kind of attack is one I have to regularly defend against in my own thought life. I’ve been going through a big transition at work. A couple of weeks ago, I had an interaction with a colleague that made me doubt some of my choices, and I immediately whispered a quick prayer, “God help me to be content in this life you’ve called me to.” Who knows where the next thought came from…but immediately in response I thought “He doesn’t care.” And then I started thinking, this world is a mess. There are children being tortured and killed by oppressive regimes. There are people struggling to afford food and basic needs. There are people suffering from all kinds of terrible conditions. Does God care about me? Is it selfish to even speak these tiny needs to him when I should probably spend my time praying for the big problems in the world? In this spiral of doubt, the Holy Spirit brought to mind a verse:
Cast all your anxieties on Him, for He cares for you.
I realized then what a powerful weapon God had given me in the word “all.” This verse soothed me and assured me that He cares about me, His precious daughter, and He cares about the tiny things in my day. Later, I looked up Psalm 139. It’s beautiful and shows how dear we are to our Father’s heart. Here are just the first 6 verses:
You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
The word “all” began jumping out at me from the pages of my Bible as God equipped me:
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
…praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints…
There’s no threshold of importance with God. I don’t have to rank my prayer requests by priority or urgency. I don’t have to concern myself with presenting only the most important or the most urgent petitions to God. He wants to hear it all. He cares about it all. And that is incredibly encouraging to me.