The Power of Small Prayers


If you had to study one subject for the rest of your life, would you choose to study either giant things or tiny things?

I am wowed by huge things like next week’s solar eclipse. But if I’m honest, I love to study small things even better. I love detail and I’m always drawn to the little bitty side of creation.

I think God would choose to study the small things. He is infinite and transcendent over all creation, yet his heart lies with us, so small by comparison.

I love this quote from Victoria Brooks in A Journey to Victorious Praying :

We are surrounded by relationships, but driven by accomplishment. God is the opposite. Though surrounded by accomplishments, He has given Himself in relationship. Though not in need of interaction, He has chosen to pursue it.

The God who created all things with a word from his mouth, who spins the earth on its axis and hangs the stars in the sky, who has managed all life from Day 1 and will continue through all eternity, knows us inside out, through and through. Even more amazing, he craves relationship with us!

I relate to how David felt when he wrote this psalm:

When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—
    the moon and the stars you set in place—
what are mere mortals that you should think about them,
    human beings that you should care for them?

Psalm 8:3-4 NLT

It’s a beautiful mystery I will never understand, but will always appreciate. Because God pursues relationship with us, even the small things in our lives matter to him.

Last week I drove home in the late afternoon and my feet began itching and burning, so much that I could think of nothing else. I realized I was probably having an attack of athlete’s foot, even though I’d never had one before. I peeled off my shoes and slathered cream all over my throbbing toes. I cried out in prayer, “Lord, please help me!”

The Lord opens up the doorway to everyday peace with every small prayer.

In comparison to the entire universe, does my non-life-threatening foot infection really matter? Certainly not. But God cared because I was upset and uncomfortable. I propped my feet up, turned the fans on, and prayed for the medicine to do its work. In half an hour, I felt better, and I thanked God for helping me with this small inconvenience. I thanked him for medicine, I thanked him for cool fans, and I thanked him that I didn’t have anywhere to go that night.

Do you offer up small prayers to God every day? I sometimes feel foolish for doing so, because I have such reverence for him. Yet when I pray about misplaced keys, paper cuts, and a string of red lights when I need green ones, I feel closer to him. The Lord opens up the doorway to everyday peace with every small prayer.

In Start with Amen, Beth Guckenberger shares a story about small prayer. She needed to buy a purse one hour before a speaking engagement, since her former Coach purse had been stolen. In her hurry after her flight to the U.S., she found a leather purse she liked, but it cost $276. She put it back and resigned herself to her daughter’s shabby dress-up purse. That night she stayed at her parents’ home. She opened a package mailed to her parents’ home from a college friend, who had sent her a birthday gift.

It was my $276 leather backpack purse. Exact. Same. One.

A flood of thoughts came over me as I held it.

She and I had never exchanged gifts so generous before.

She didn’t know about the theft, did she?

Is this for real? God picked this out for me before I wanted it today?

I was so sure he didn’t care about designer purses. I had spent a month disciplining my thoughts so I wouldn’t grieve something as silly as a purse. Yet here he was, reintroducing me to himself all over again. I care about everything you care about, he seemed to say.

Last time I wrote about the power of praying big. Big prayers are exciting, challenging, and thrilling. Small prayers are humble, ordinary, and unimpressive. Both matter to God. Both draw me closer to him.

The Lord opens up the doorway to everyday peace with every small prayer.

Questions for reflection: 

What small prayer has God answered for you most recently?

How do small prayers draw you closer to God?


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35 thoughts on “The Power of Small Prayers

  1. Sarah, this focus on the power of small prayers is so encouraging. God does care about every little aspect of our lives. I loved the quote by Victoria Brooks! Thank you for sharing this with us today. And now I’m headed over to read your post about the power of praying big!

    1. Hi Leslie…thanks for reading both stories. That quote inspired me greatly, and I’m glad you liked it too!

  2. Great thoughts on a small subject, Sarah! 😉 And it’s so true. We really need to be in a constant state of prayer all throughout our day. I don’t think this is foolish at all! It’s very wise and your words today bring encouragement to be in the continual conversation with the Lord. Thanks for being our cheerleader in this. Oh, and by the way, I still don’t know how to access your videos, since I’ve signed up but don’t have a link to access it yet. I would love to view them, my friend!

    1. Hey friend, I’m glad you signed up. Maybe it’s the double-opt-in feature that didn’t work for you. It worked for me when I tested it…would you be willing to try again? I’m sorry for the problems you’ve experienced, but I hope you get it to work!

  3. Sarah, I love the power of little prayers and God’s big answers that show He cares about the desires of our heart. Love the story of the purse. God has done that for me in various ways and I’m always awed! How amazing is our Father. I like the quote: “We are surrounded by relationships, but driven by accomplishment. God is the opposite. Though surrounded by accomplishments, He has given Himself in relationship.”

    1. Hi Debbie…I loved the purse story too. It almost brings me to tears that God cares about such small things when so many other big things are going on in the world. We are so dear to him even though he is so infinite…amazing!

  4. Yes! I offer up small prayers all day long as well as words of gratitude for the simple things! I am so grateful for all God’s blessings, large and small!

  5. I find my days go more smoothly and my emotions are better when I am in conversation with God throughout the day.
    When I remember to use it, I have a prayer journal with a section each day for prayer requests and answered prayers.
    It’s funny how much easier it is to fill a box with prayer requests than to reflect on even the tiniest things that God has given us each day.

    Thank you for sharing. <3

    1. Hello Lexie! Thanks for your visit. I’ve started an evening prayer journal like you, and it’s a great way to reflect upon answered prayer. Blessings to you!

  6. This is great, Sarah! I, too, love the beauty in the small things and I am so grateful for a God who cares about the ‘one’. It brings such peace and encouragement when I see Him showing up in the little things… I call them my little glimmers of hope… so personal and direct from a God who cares. I love that quote from Victoria Brooks. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Carlie! I love your phrase “little glimmers of hope.” That’s so true! Thanks for liking my FB page also!

  7. I love small prayers too, Sarah. I’ve been writing on that myself lately (book). One of the best ways for me to keep my mind at rest and in peace is to just pray short and then leave it with God. Period. Fights distraction too. 🙂

    1. Oh, I can’t wait to read your book, Betsy! If you want a member for your launch team, I’m happy to serve when the time comes. Blessings to you!

  8. I love this! Small prayers feel unimpressive for sure but I am reminded of being faithful with the little things before we are trusted with the large ones. I would think small prayers are, after all, what make up so much of our prayer life (at least they do mine). Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Hi Ronja! Yes, small prayers weave a little tapestry of faith every day, don’t they? Thanks for your visit!

  9. Oh, wow, Sarah, I love this. So true that although God’s surrounded by accomplishments, He chooses relationship and this: “Because God pursues relationship with us, even the small things in our lives matter to him.” To the Lord, it’s all about relationship with His children. Hugs!

    1. Hi Karen! I’m so glad God chooses relationship over accomplishments. It’s a great example for me to follow. Blessings to you!

  10. I pray all sizes of prayers. Sometimes I feel sorry for God having to listen to me ramble on. He really is my best friend so he get it all. Most recently he answered my prayer to help me please find my wedding ring. I had looked 3 times in our safe and it just wasn’t there. Then all of a sudden not only was it there it right where it was supposed to be in the ring holder. I know I looked but couldn’t find it.

    1. I am so glad you found your ring, Maree. I understand how that feels. In my book Newness of Life I wrote about looking for a gold earring and praying, then trusting God with the “no” answer. At least it wasn’t my wedding ring! Blessings to you, friend.

  11. This is a beautiful post Sarah. You have hit the ball out of the park on this one. I found the power of prayer in my own life when I was in the hospital from my stroke 7 years ago last month. Since then I have worked to develop my prayer life because I know God desires to commune with those He loves. The story about your small prayer gave me a chuckle. Once, I found myself apologizing to God because of where I was praying at the time. I meant no disrespect, but I just needed to speak with Him. I love talking with God whether big or small, but I know that He is most important.. Prayer is about Him, not me. It is because of His love and the sacrifice of His Son that I have the privilege of speaking with Him. I will be forever grateful, and I thank Him daily for the opportunity to speak with Him,.Sorry to ramble, but your post inspired me. Thank you for sharing this poignant reminder that we can talk with God about anything. Have a fantastic weekend and may God bless you and yours.

    1. Horace, thank you for your kind words. Yes, I’ve apologized too, for prayers that seem so insignificant in importance. But God doesn’t mind at all, kind of like when my kids come to me with their teeny tiny wounds. I’m so glad he’s our Father!

  12. All prayers, large and small, connect us with the heart of God. Love you post… He doesn’t care how big our prayers are, His only concern is that we bring them before Him and trust Him with the answers. Blessings!

  13. Great post! My husband tells our kids you don’t have to pray long you just need to pray strong! I do believe God hears both long and short prayers, but it’s the short prayers that enables us to pray without ceasing. Stopping by from Grace and Truth Link Up. Timberley @ Living Our Priorities

    1. I love what your husband is telling your kids–that’s right on target! Praying without ceasing…yes, short prayers make that easy to do.

  14. What a beautiful story about the purse. A friend of ours says, things like that are God “winking” at us, saying, “I’ve got this!” I’m convicted every time I think about prayer. I don’t pray nearly as faithfully as I should. I’ve made a renewed commitment to pray more about everything, big and small.

  15. Small prayers also draw me closer to God because I involve Him in my day to day life.

    1. Hello, my small prayers also draw me closer to God in daily life. Thanks for your comment!

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