rebelling against low expectations

God is Bigger Than Your Petty Prayers


I sat in my youth group, and my friend started to pray.

However, I was still thinking about what the prayer requests were.

We were praying over someone’s stubbed toe and a dead bird somebody else found in their yard. Now this question was echoing in my mind: Why were we praying over such petty things?

We have the privilege of talking to the God of the universe about anything, yet we’ve gathered together to pray for this?

God Cares

Of course, we know that God cares about us and he wants us to talk to him about everything. But when we come together to pray as a group, I think we are setting our sights astronomically low.

Yes, God desires for us to bring him everything under the sun. Yes, he desires to go through life with you and share in your life with you. Yes, he loves you so much and wants to be part of your life, moment by moment.

But the pain of the stubbed toe will go away very quickly – and so will the lost and their chance to be saved.

When you gather together to pray with other people, instead of praying about petty things, choose to go deeper. Choose to storm the gates of heaven and plead with God.

These unsaved people will one day die, and go to hell. But we choose to pray about a stubbed toe.

Hebrews 5:16 (NKJV) says,

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

The problem is that we are no longer bold.

Have We Forgotten?

Have we forgotten how capable God is? He is the Lord Almighty! But instead of praying for our country, or our unsaved friends, or our unsaved coworkers, we choose to talk to God about a stubbed toe.

I’m sorry, but do we even believe God is powerful anymore?

Our country has lost sight of what is truly important and has settled for second hand inspiration. We no longer fall on our faces before God. We, as the body of Christ, need to become bold again.

We need to take God for who the Bible says he is, not for how the world portrays him.

The church often wonders why we don’t see his power anymore. This is one of the biggest reasons.

We have become hypocrites. We proclaim with our mouths that God is powerful, but when it comes down to it, our actions do not uphold these claims. I am the chief of sinners in this area. But I’m working on it. I am learning more in depth who God is, and I am learning to come to him boldly.

Setting Aside Time For God

Have a date with God. You think I’m kidding? Nope. Set specific time aside to pray.

It is great to seek him while you drive to work and when you are on your lunch break. But we need more than that. Instead of doing two things at once, such as driving and praying, or eating and praying, choose to set specific time aside for him. To seek him and fall before him. To worship him and to study the Word.

Do talk to God about every little thing. He wants to have a very personal relationship with you. Talking to him about every little thing is what God desires. It is amazing and wonderful.

However, think about what you’re praying, and when you pray with fellow believers, set your sights higher and use your time wiser.

First Peter 5:6:

“Therefore humble yourselves under the almighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time, casting all your cares upon him, for he cares for you.”

So, let’s pray about everything. Not just the big things, and not just the little things. Let’s set aside specific times to pray. And let us all become closer to our Heavenly Father.

What can you be doing in your life to make an effort to come to the throne boldly?

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Photo courtesy of lauren rushing via Flickr Creative Commons.


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About the author

Emma Underwood

is 20 years old and is currently pursuing a major in Biblical studies and Cross Cultural Missions. She loves being a young wife and homemaker. She regularly writes and expresses her thoughts on her blog.


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  • Wonderful! Just wonderful! This past year or so I’ve been making prayer more of a priority, and trying to have daily “dates” with God. So this is a great reminder for me. Thank you for writing it! 🙂

  • This was a great article Emma and such an important topic! Thank you for writing it 🙂

    “Set your sights higher and use your time wiser”-my favorite line

  • Thank you for writing this article Emma. I am gonna try to be less shy and actually read the bible and share the word with others. I pray every night before I go to bed.

  • This reminds me of when I was younger, and every night before bed, we would pray as a family. There were five kids praying at that time and my parents, so it was kind of a long prayer session for us. Each kid would pray, and we usually all prayed and thanked God for the SAME things. As you can imagine, this might have gotten a little tiresome for my dad and mom. One night, my dad said “Okay, how about each of you guys thank and pray for three specific things on your turn.Then, when its someone else’s turn, they have to pray for something DIFFERENT.” This was a challenge for us, but it did teach us to think outside of our little own world. There was one time where I said “God, please help us to have a good time at ___’s house”. My dad stopped me there and said,”Do you think you think your going to have a bad time at ___’s house? They’re your best friend!” It taught me that instead of asking to have a good time playing with Lego’s at my friend’s house, that I could be praying for my sick Grandma. Those little things make a big difference in my thought process and relationship with God. Thanks for writing Emma, great article!

    • Wow, that is a great example! Getting outside of ourselves is the best possible thing to do. It opens up our view to things we never would have noticed. I actually just finished a series about prayer on my blog. You are welcome! Thank you!

  • Yes, yes yes! Hardly ever do I hear prayer requests for lost souls. Yeah, it’s sad when your friend’s mother’s uncle’s cousins dog twice removed dies, but if our prayer must be limited to a small amount of time, let’s pray about the things of eternal importance. Thank you for this article 🙂

  • Amen! One thing it is impossible for us to do is to underestimate God. His capabilities go beyond our imagination. And yes, he does want a personal relationship with us…

    Is it just me, or is that unbelievably amazing?

  • Great article, Emma! I totally agree…we need to focus less on the mundane things and more on the deep things – the eternal things! I wanted to mention that although we do want to share deeper things, we need to be careful about what we share. For example, my Mom and Dad were having some huge marriage struggles. Should we have shared the details with the whole church so they could pray? No, that wouldn’t be appropriate. Yes, share the important things, but don’t gossip or say things that aren’t appropriate for the people/time. Hope that makes sense.
    Something I find helpful is to write down my prayers. I have my Bible time each morning around 6am. And if you’re like me, you probably fall asleep praying. 😉 Then, I started writing down my prayers and they suddenly became deeper, more meaningful, more heartfelt, and I didn’t fall asleep praying. 🙂 Plus it gives you more time to think about what you say and there’s just something about writing that helps your thoughts come smoother and faster, so you’re not just praying the same ol’ things. So, if you don’t already write out your prayers, I would recommend trying it! If you do, let me know how you like it! 🙂 Thanks for posting, Emma! (Oh, and by the way, I LOVE Panera Bread!!!) 😀

    • Thank you! Oh, yes of course! I completely agree. I WRITE MY PRAYERS DOWN TOO! Yes! That has been one of the most helpful things for me as well! That is one of many ways that I have been able to truly strengthen my prayer life. I LOVE writing out my prayers 🙂 Hahahahaha awesome!

      • LOL! That’s awesome! We have something in common! 🙂 I just wish I could meet you and lots of the others on the Rebelution! 😉 Actually, we will see each other in heaven! So cool! 😀 Oh! I just saw that my brother commented on this too! (He posts as cowboyclayt.) hahaha! 🙂

        • Hahaha I’m sure we have much more in common as well! Lol maybe someday! Hahaha well check out my blog : and my youtube channel 😉 lol Yes we will! Oh cool !! haha! I’m so glad you two found therebelution! It has been such a cool family for me 🙂

  • This was so wonderful! I’ve definitely been trying to learn more about prayer lately, and this was so true. Pray bold, passionate, insanely powerful prayers, because we have an infinitely powerful God! Thank you for this reminder!

  • Emma, THANK YOU. I needed to hear this. Sometimes it can be hard to be surrounded by people like this (and end up becoming like this myself) and you have encouraged me not to settle but to set the bar higher 🙂

  • This is so good, and really what I needed right now. I know I have been needing to revamp my prayer life and give God more time, and this really kickstart me in the right direction!

  • That was amazing, and what a wake up call, I think just about everyone needed that reminder, so thank you for being the one to do that!!

By Emma Underwood
rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →