NLQ Question of the Week: Why Ask God Only For Little Things?

NLQ Question of the Week: Why Ask God Only For Little Things? August 11, 2016

QuestionoftheweekThis is a new series we have started running on Thursdays. Examining some of the questions involving long held Quiverfull theology and life.

Recently I’ve been around a number of fundamentalist and evangelical Christians and noticed something about their public prayer lives. They pray for the usual things most people pray for, for the sick to be healed, for the meal they are eating to be blessed and for protection of their loved ones. But I noticed that the part of their public prayers were for things so inconsequential it seemed petty to pray for. I witnessed prayers for the closest parking space to a store, for discounts and bargains at that store and over the weather – asking the rain to stop so that the prayee didn’t get wet walking to the car.

What I didn’t hear was prayers for there to be no more war, for hungry children to be fed, for suffering people. Big prayers that benefit many people instead of the one or the few. Through the years I was part of a QF church most of the prayers seemed to be like these, small things. Which leads to my question, why pray for only the little things? Is it the influence of the prosperity gospel preachers? Some sort of evangelical self focus? What drives making their God so small? Your thoughts on this?

moreLast week NLQ Question of the Week: Why is Breast Feeding as Birth Control Not Forbidden in Quiverfull?

Random NLQ Question of the Week: Why Ignore Troubling Signs in Children?


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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Nightshade

    Because the big prayers don’t get answered. Oh, there are excuses like world peace depends on humans, God respects humanity’s free will, that he’s telling someone to feed those kids but that person just isn’t listening, blah, blah, but bottom line? Only small prayers get any kind of ‘answer’ at all.

  • No Longer Lurking

    This is something I’ve never understood. The Duggars always talk about “God’s timing” — if you truly believe in that, what is the point of praying for something to happen, or some particular outcome? That rain is coming in “God’s timing” so either get wet or wait until God decides the rain will stop. (Or, for a Duggar-related example, if Jinger truly believed God would bring her husband in His timing, why did she go on about “this is exactly what I prayed for — God is so good” after she got engaged?) I can understand praying to give thanks to God, or to ask for help with some kind of self-improvement (patience while you’re waiting for the rain to stop, etc.), but it seems hypocritical to say you’re letting God direct your life and then keep badgering Him with constant requests when the things you want aren’t happening when you want them.

  • AuntKaylea

    I’ve always thought of it as this: With prayer from sincere faith comes responsibility. If I ask for something big, then I may have to take responsibility for big changes/actions as I may have a role in the answer. Asking for something small has no risk involved.

    So: I don’t have to risk changing my behavior to find a parking space. If I pray for world peace, I may have to actively do something about it: (i.e. work full time outside the home in a place which actively helps refugees, amongst other things).

  • persephone

    Because they’re a bunch of self-centered, ME ME ME jerks. It’s very much an example of they’re special, God’s chosen, and He only cares about them. It’s also a reflection of their belief system that God will take care of the big stuff, we don’t have any real control or related responsibility, an example of which is the common belief among them that humans can’t ruin Earth, because God will step in and stop it, so global warming isn’t real, extinction isn’t real (remember the whiny complaints about Happy Feet?) or is meant to be, natural resources will never run out, etc.

    Which is why I want to smack everyone who ever says, “Let go and let God.”

  • katiehippie

    Their world is small and so the prayers are small.

  • gimpi1

    Perhaps because you have a fair chance of finding a good parking space or having the shower let up, and a very poor chance of seeing the world’s hungry fed? Praying for something that’s very unlikely is quite likely to show your prayers were ineffective. And, perhaps, the people praying know that, unconsciously at least.

  • Shelli Kae

    I honestly have come to believe to pray for the same thing over and over (like a husband, for example) is showing lack of faith. If God promises to hear our prayers and answer them we should trust He will. To worry or prayer over and over means we just don’t believe Him. I struggles for a long time with this due to health and financial issues and learned if I prayer, lay it at His feet and listen and wait He always comes through. I still struggle but I can calm my dear and worry when I remember to have that sma’ll mustard seed of faith.