By Rick Hamlin
Does God Get Bored by My Prayers?
“Am I supposed to pray once and leave it in God’s hands? I feel like I’m bugging him to death by asking every day all day long. Still praying for a job for my older daughter.”—Lesa
This is a prayer request that came into OurPrayer.org and after praying for Lesa and her daughter, I wanted to answer her question.
There’s a story in the Bible sometimes called the Parable of the Unjust Judge or the Parable of the Importunate Widow (Luke 18:1-8). It describes a woman who kept coming to the judge again and again, asking for justice against her adversary, until he finally gave up. “I will give her justice because she keeps bothering me,” he said. “Otherwise there will be no end to it.”
The story addresses a quandary about prayer. If God knows what we want, why do we bother praying for it? Why doesn’t he just give in? Why keep asking?
Perhaps it’s because we’re meant to be a little like that importunate widow. We need to do the asking to prepare us for the answer he’s ready to give us. We need to focus our attention on the big picture he’s always ready to show. As for ever being bothered by all this importuning, all our bugging, our endless praying, I think of something a therapist friend said when I asked him, “Do you ever get bored hearing all that talk?”
“When I hear people in pain, I could listen for hours,” he said, “and I do.”
Wouldn’t God do the same? Wouldn’t you? My mostly grown kids could come to me any time of the day or night and I would want to hear from them, especially when they’re worried and struggling. Wouldn’t our heavenly parent be like that too?
Lesa, pray as much as you want. Pray whenever you can. Don’t be discouraged. Thank you for sharing your prayers with us. May they all be answered.