Is it OK to ask God for a place to park the car?
Years ago, a Bible study group I was in had a lengthy debate about this.
Some of our group believed you should not.
God had more pressing things to attend to.
Along those lines, others believed we should be bringing God more serious or substantial prayers than our parking problem.
Also, the motivation behind a car spot can be selfish and short-sighted.
Hardly the stuff of living for God.
Others believed you should bring your parking needs to God because, well, God wants us to bring everything to him in prayer.
Every situation, everything
Paul Grimmond is a pastor and Dean of Students at Moore Theological College in Sydney.
He also wrote a book about anxiety and the Bible – When the Noise Won’t Stop.
Having lived with anxiety for a long time, Paul told Hope Mornings that God definitely wants to hear from us.
About all the things of our life.
Not just the “big” stuff.
“In every situation, in everything, the Bible encourages us that it is right and proper to bring our cares to God,” Paul said.
He linked this assurance with Philippians 4:6 NIV – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Paul compared our dependent relationship upon God with a toddler’s need for a parent.
“One of the lovely things to think about this picture of God in the Scriptures is just how tender and fatherly he is described, in many places,” Paul said.
“The Bible does use the language of his care and concern for his people,” Paul said.
“I think that’s the place to start.”
It’s about God, not the convenient car spot
Paul pointed out that the God who knows every single sparrow is the same God who knows every hair on our heads (see Matthew 10 NIV).
God’s intimate love for and knowledge of us also means we need to temper our expectations of how God responds to our prayers.
Whether it is a car park or cancer, help with a deadline or sharing our Christian faith, praying to God requires accepting we do not control his answer.
“As we think about [how] I can bring anything and everything to God, that’s actually a helpful thing because it reminds me I am thoroughly dependent upon him,” Paul said.
“I ought to come as someone who is willing to say that God knows better than I do.
“God may choose to answer this prayer differently to the way I would like it to be answered.”
Including if I get the car park closest to the shops.
Listen to the full conversation in the player above.
Header image: Photo by Canva Pro