Sunday, January 4, 2009

God of the Average

Health, career, academics, family, housing, crises, addictions: these are the usual items we mention at prayer meets. 

But there are some things we do NOT pray for, period, let alone raise in a prayer meeting or group-chat. I mean, when was the last time we told a friend, "Please pray for my...:
  • credit card - it's the third time it's been frauded, very troublesome informing my regular payees, (re)signing and faxing docs, etc. 
  • broadband - I need it keep steady, especially during exam weekends
  • split hairs, white hairs - yeah I'm vain too, so sue me... 
  • pride - I really think I'm the best in my department, can't help fantasizing about being given accolades and awards every now and then, can't help feeling cheated when some other dude gets the unexpected kudos 
  • mattress - it's a breeding ground for bed bugs (even if they don't bite you, which is rare, they still explode into many tiny black blotches on your bed you wonder if your Mont Blanc was leaking)" 
  • time/motivation - to clear my store room, to hit the gym again, to get new shoes, to clean the fridge, etc."
I reckon we've been ingrained with the idea that God only listens to "important-enough-to-be-announced" prayers. Maybe we find the casual and the ordinary embarassing to bring up at prayer meetings or a waste of 'sharing' time.

But tell this to a father whose daughter keeps nudging him to sleep a bit more to the side so she can sleep closer next to him. Or to a mother whose son is wailing because he can't find his beloved red tumbler.

It's not about triviality. It's about intimacy. In this case, ours with God.

Our prayer that mountains be moved is likely more effective only after we're used to praying for that 10-year old car top start after a long drive (or a cold night). 

Our prayer for special doctor-dazzling healing will come more naturally only after we've been praying for the grace to do things like clean the corners of the room ceiling. 

We'd feel more at home praying for spiritual conversions after we've done the time of praying that currency conversions don't hit your overseas credit payments too hard.

Because if we don't pray for the banal which can occupy up to 70-80% of our daily experience, no one else will. God is as much the God of the average and the awkward as He is of the awesome.

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