Nine years ago, I asked God to give me something a lot of people would think was ridiculous: a parking spot. But it wasn’t just any parking spot and it wasn't just any day I needed it. It was my wedding day.
The church where I got married was beautiful, but it was located in a Washington, D.C., neighborhood where there is very little parking. What's worse is that the minimal parking that is available is parallel parking -- except for this one spot.
About 20 yards from the church is this space that's not only conveniently located, it's all by itself. I needed that space because I had rented a nice, sporty car and I didn't want to get it scratched by D.C. drivers, who have no problem bumping into other cars in order to squeeze into spaces. So I prayed for that parking spot just before going to sleep.
The next day, I woke up a little late, got dressed in my tux, picked up the rental car and drove to the church to take photos. When I turned the corner onto the street where the church was located, there was the coveted parking space, waiting just for me.
“Thank You, God,” I said, smiling. “I knew You’d do it.”
It’s interesting how people react to this story when I tell it. A few people are genuinely touched by it. Some smile and offer a listless, “wow.” I’ve had others who politely offer their opinion and tell me that it’s inappropriate to ask God for things like parking spots and help with finding lost keys. I don’t agree.
As Romans 8:28 says, “All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.” If all things work together for our good, then I suppose all things matter, including whether I get a good parking spot on my wedding day.
I know a lot of people will say that we should nonetheless focus our energies on praying for single mothers and hungry children. I do agree that those requests should be the top priority, but I still think God has plenty of time for the seemingly minor things we need.
Matthew 17:27 tells a story about a time when Peter came to Jesus needing something really basic: tax money. Jesus said, “[G]o down to the lake and throw in a line. Open the mouth of the first fish you catch, and you will find a large silver coin. Take it and pay the tax for both of us.” Peter obeyed, caught a fish, and found the tax money in the fish’s mouth, just as Jesus had said (you've got to wonder how God pulled that one off).
So I say go ahead, definitely pray for single moms and hungry children. God will be eager to answer those prayers. But in the meantime, we can ask Him for relatively minor things like parking spaces, lost keys and money to pay taxes. His ability to give is limitless, so we might as well offer Him as many opportunities to provide as possible.