Does God answer prayers for parking spots?

Sometimes He does, sometimes He doesn’t.  What does this tell us about God and about us?  Sometimes finding a parking spot in direct conjunction with a prayer is taken as a sign of His love and care for us.  But, could it also be a sign of His love and care when we don’t find a parking spot after praying?  Maybe His answer is that we’re better off walking the distance because it’s beneficial for our health and we may need the exercise. 

Or consider this.  Sometimes that convenient parking space may not be there because He is working trust and patience in us in the midst of a stressful situation.  Or sometimes He may be delaying our arrival for a protective purpose.  And sometimes He may be showing us it will be faster if we just park at the first open space instead for driving around looking for something closer.  Who knows.

Some would say praying for a parking spot is petty.  Why should the God of the universe who set the stars in place and rules over the nations have time for answering a prayer about a parking space?  And yet, Jesus tells us the even the hairs on our heads are numbered.  And He knows when even a sparrow falls to the ground. (Matthew 10:29-30) Who can fathom that?  But this I know, with such assurances from Jesus, we can also be encouraged that even the provision of a parking space when it concerns His children, is not too small a detail to escape His notice. 

How does He do that?  Does He have parking lot angels, like some privates in the army assigned to the most menial of tasks, who patrol the shopping mall lots on behalf of the redeemed?  Are these angels peeling spuds while being on the alert for a bold believer declaring “parking spot, come forth!”  I don’t know.  But this I do know, sometimes prayer for parking spots work.

But here is something even more important to consider.  The urge to pray for a parking spot can also be a reminder to readjust our attention to praying for more important things.  Several years ago I was cruising the Rosedale Shopping Center on the hunt for a parking place.  As I was praying for a space to park, and I can remember exactly where I was, I suddenly found myself deeply convicted by the Holy Spirit of my prayerlessness for the much more serious needs of others.  My heart smote me and brought me up short in revealing how self-centered my prayer life was becoming.  

Since that time, I’ve been turning personal parking lot needs into reminders to pray for others whose needs are much more important than my convenience.  All of us have people in our lives who are suffering greatly and need our prayers.  We live in a world that desperately needs prayer.  Therefore why not give those parking lot angels an assignment that will get them off of KP duty and back on the battlefront of bringing life altering blessing to those in real need?

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