[Today’s devotion on prayer is part of the Weekend Word devotional series. Come back every Saturday for more insights from God’s Word to jumpstart your weekend.]
Read: Matthew 7:7-11
Today’s Scripture: 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows (Luke 12:6-7, NIV).
If you’ve ever asked for prayer requests from a group of kids, you know that prayer time with children is often very different than it is with adults. As adults, we tend to reserve our prayer requests for the “big things” — sickness, salvations, direction, etc. We should pray for those things, of course, but we sometimes leave the “little things” out because they don’t seem important enough to bring before God.
With kids, however, it’s different. They do still ask for prayer for “big things” — family members to stop fighting, sick relatives to be healed — but what I love about prayer with kids is that they’re not afraid to ask God for what seem like “little things” to us.
I once had a child in Sunday School who, when prayer time came around, would search his arms and legs for any small bruise or scrape he could find so that we could pray that it would get better. Sometimes, these marks were so small I could barely see them. Other times, I wasn’t sure if there really was anything there.
In my time working with kids, I’ve prayed for some interesting things. I’ve prayed that missing stuffed animals would be found, toys would be fixed, and invisible scrapes would be healed. These things may seem insignificant from an adult’s perspective, but they matter to these children. And if they matter to them, are they really insignificant after all?
In Biblical times, you could buy five sparrows for two “pennies.” These pennies were called farthings (or assaria, plural of assarion, in Greek). One farthing was worth about a half of our penny today.
Sparrows were of little value. In fact, the market was running something similar to a buy-two-get-one deal. Instead of getting two sparrows for one farthing, if you bought four sparrows, you could get an extra sparrow thrown in free. These birds were insignificant, replaceable, and of little worth.
But what seems insignificant to us is not insignificant to God. He doesn’t forget a single sparrow (Luke 12:6). The God of the universe, who created everything and sees everything, cares about a bird worth half the price of a small copper coin. And if He places that kind of value on a sparrow, how much more does He think of us and value us! Jesus says we’re “worth more than many sparrows” (v. 7).
If the seemingly insignificant matters to God, then wouldn’t those requests that seem insignificant to us matter to Him too? In Matthew chapter 7, we learn that God gives good gifts to those who ask Him (v. 9). Can’t we bring our “small” requests before God as well as our “big” requests?
Maybe they’re not “small” requests after all. If they matter to us and they matter to God, then they’re worth asking about. In this regard, we can learn a lesson from the children around us and ask God for the “little things.” They have faith that God hears and cares about all their requests.
Is your ministry short on supplies? Ask God to provide them. Are you feeling a slight headache coming on? Ask God for healing. Are you worried about accomplishing your tasks for the day? Ask God for help.
God is certainly not a vending machine, and all the things we want won’t “magically” appear before our eyes, but God is a loving God and a good Father who delights in giving gifts to his children. You don’t need to wait until you have a major crisis to ask God for help.
Today’s Thoughts: Do you have a request you haven’t asked God about because it seems too insignificant? What might happen if you humbly brought that request before God today?
As a side note, have you heard kids’ worship singer Yancy‘s version of “His Eye Is on the Sparrow”? If you haven’t, I suggest checking it out. Listen to it for a little extra encouragement today.