Does your mind wander while you pray? Mine certainly does. Some of the times that I spend in prayer are fairly structured and some of them are not.
I expect the unstructured time to be a bit random and wandering. These are the times when it just suddenly seems like time to pray. Something comes to mind, a person or perhaps a situation, followed by the thought of praying over it, and so off I go.
But there is another part to what might be called my prayer life that is more structured. Spend some time reading from the Bible and then spend some time in prayer. Those times will often include prayer connected to whatever passage I was reading, plus some of the more regular concerns that I keep in prayer, such as for my family and prayer requests that I have received from our church.
This morning there was an overlap of sorts between the prayer of a structured and unstructured variety. I had had my more ordinary structured time of prayer and then had a bit of time before meeting someone for breakfast. It occurred to me that I should pray over the time I would be spending with my friend, that it would be time used by God for His purposes, and that I during the time my friend and I would be together that God would show me how best to serve Him.
In a sense, that is a 'big thing' prayer, to put myself out to God that He would use me powerfully within the life of someone else. But in the midst of that prayer two other thoughts came to mind, two relatively minor things that were distractions that I was hoping to get resolved today. Two 'small things.'
Then came a flash of insight! Instead of trying to toss those concerns off to the side, where they would likely quickly clamor for attention again, I lay them before the Lord, and moved back to my original prayer.
God invites us to bring all of our requests to Him in prayer. That certainly isn’t the only way we should pray, but doing so is completely biblical. As a pastor I think my default is to lean towards the big things, that is the things that carry eternal significance and the things that nearly anyone would think are important.
But the small things matter too, and so God's people can feel as free in lifting the small things to Him as they do the big things.
As today draws to a close both of those small things were resolved, and I can’t even recall anymore what one of them was. I do know that in praying for them I was no longer concerned about them, which in its own way was an answer to my prayer. And answered prayer should result in more prayer, this time in thanks and praise. Amen.