In this blog from the Faith & Family website, the blogger, Heidi Bratton tells about a very special tube of Mary Kay foundation that she has on reserve for special occasions. It's her favorite- perfect color, perfect application, but kinda pricey. It collects dust because she uses it so seldom. One day she saw it and tried to recall the last time she used it. It was 18 months earlier. Here was her moment of clarity:
Pondering the mentality of my make-up use, I couldn’t refute the thought that it really wasn’t about the money.The cost difference between the two products is only about $7, and while I’m not a spendthrift, I’m pretty sure I’ve squandered at least that amount since our 20th and probably in just one impulse buy at Walmart. The longer I thought about it, the more my makeup economizing seemed to be more closely linked to a philosophy—really a heresy—that I’ve also heard applied to prayer.
I’ll call this heresy the “Economy of Prayer Heresy.” In a nutshell, it proposes that we really shouldn’t “bother” God by praying about the small details of our everyday lives. We should, instead, wait until we have a need that is big enough or special enough for God to get involved. Here’s the problem. Where does that leave us and our relationship with God in the meantime? It leaves us with the best possible product for addressing our real and ongoing spiritual needs—that is prayer—gathering dust on a shelf.
Heidi goes on to remind us that no prayer is too small or trivial for God to care and that the concern doesn't go away just because we choose to ignore the need for God's hand:
In the same way that our skin care needs don’t just go away because we choose not to address them, our spiritual needs don’t just go away because we choose not to bring them to God, either. In fact, when we choose not to “bother” God with our little needs and concerns, we most likely buy into poorer substitutes, that is people, products, or promises that aren’t anywhere near as effective as God’s help and guidance.
The good news, unlike the Mary Kay foundation, God has an abundance of grace and mercy and he won't run out. Even better, if he's been collecting dust and only been brought out for the "very special occasions," he's ready and willing to hear your prayers and answer them. Heidi posted Philippians 4:6 to her bathroom mirror as a perfect reminder:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Read her whole blog here.