Last Friday as I walked by my laundry room, an unfamiliar sound caught my attention. Only on my second load of about five, the washing machine made a "click, click, click" sound during the spin cycle. "That cannot be good," I thought. And it wasn't. My twelve year old machine had decided to retire. Really? We just replaced a garage door spring the week before. And, ironically I mentioned my washing machine on my "one thousand gifts" list earlier in the week.
Saturday, I woke up with a mission: find a new washing machine. No problem. I could do this! I had a plan. I had the money (thanks to the hardworking and planning of my husband). I had the time (thanks to my husband taking the girls to Home Depot to create woodwork and memories. Have a mentioned I have the BEST husband!). How long could it take anyway? A couple of hours? Did I ask God for His help? No.
I started with internet research. Which machine could I afford and highly rated by other people? After an hour, I had narrowed my search from two-thousand- twenty- nine- and a half machines to "the perfect" washing machine. Did I ask God for His help? No.
Next goal: find a place with the best price. And more importantly, find the place that would deliver it to my laundry room ASAP. I could order it online and have it delivered by Monday. I guess that would work. I made a road trip to the nearest store to take a gander at the product before I ordered it. Great! Just what I wanted. I asked the store associate about it. She had it in stock and could have it delivered on Tuesday. Tuesday? Online it said Monday. She wouldn't budge without a $20 fee to have it delivered on Monday. So, I decided to return home to purchase it online and have it delivered on Monday. Did I ask God for His help? No.
The next two hours are the hours I wish I could take back (wasted day). I had determined what washing machine I wanted, from where it would come, and when it would be delivered. My plans did not match up to the company's, in which I would purchase the perfect machine. I thought I had my transaction complete, when my rarely used store credit card, needed to receive 15% off, wouldn't work. I needed to talk to credit card services and then complete the order. The associate said she would call me back in ten minutes. After forty minutes and no call, I decided to start over with a different associate. By the time I finished the transaction, she said my machine could be delivered TUESDAY. What? This began a string of calls (I'll spare you the details). With each call, my voice sounded less pleasant, my demands got greater, and I finally did not even sound like a Jesus follower (No, I didn't curse. But my attitude was UGLY!) When it was all said and done, I received $30 off and free installation, but it would not be delivered and installed until WEDNESDAY. Ugh! Did I ask God for His help? No.
While I waited on hold several times and talked to several associates about my purchase, I had the time to continue to look for the same machine at a different company. I know I had already looked at this, (I wrote down "delivery 3/17/12" and marked it out). But now, I found the same machine for $120 cheaper and delivery as early as the same day. I received my washing machine the next afternoon. I did not deserve this. Did I ask God for His help. No.
So, why the long story? Later Saturday night when I finally took time to pray, God spoke in a whisper, "You never asked for my help." Does God really want to help us with shopping? Yes. God says to pray about everything (Ephesians 6:18 says, With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit...). How would my wasted day have been different if I asked for help? Would God have given me a better deal and faster delivery? Maybe. Would I have wasted the time on the phone instead of enjoying the beautiful day with the girls? Maybe. But I wouldn't have had a bad attitude. I will never know because I didn't ask for help.
God reminded me, as a Jesus follower, that prayer is not just part of my relationship with Him, it IS my relationship. If I'm not praying about everything, I'm relying on ME, not HIM. Because prayer is a two-way conversation, (not just me asking God for this or that), I need to ask God about everything and listen to His answer. It's easy to ask God to help with the "big stuff". But, nothing is "too small" for Him. (Asking is just one aspect of prayer. Don't forget about praise, forgiveness, thankfulness...many, many, blog posts :))
Today as I busily picked up my house, I came across a plastic bag of vacuum cleaner dirt, fuzz, etc. I remembered I dumped it on Friday, after I realized I may have vacuumed up a necklace pendant. Thinking about this post, I prayed that God would help me find the pendant if I had vacuumed it up. Guess what! I found it within 30 seconds. I'm not saying God will always give you anything you want when you ask. God is not a genie. But, it's about your relationship with Him. Do you even ask? I do think God blessed me with a quick answer to show me I should pray about everything, even a small necklace pendant.
Jesus follower, What can you do on your own that you think is "too small" to pray about? God wants to help.