Dear God, please help me. I left my Chinese workbook at home today … Please let the teacher forget to collect the homework?
Dear God, can you make this bus go faster as morning assembly is starting?
Dear God, please, please let that girl stand next to me in the game? Then I can get to hold her hand.

Fine, laugh or judge at me all you want — I was a child when I said those prayers. But I have a question: Growing up, did you also begin to “screen” your prayers before praying?

That prayer may sound too trivial … God probably won’t hear it … Even if He does, it’s probably only going to waste His time.

I’m not talking about things like wishing your Art teacher would fall sick so you could have 2 hours free in school (guilty). I’m more thinking of stuff like: “God, I’m stressed about my exams”, or “God, I have this hurt I want to share with You”.

I realise sometimes it’s easy to forget that God is my Perfect Father.

Imagine you are a child sleeping in your own room for the first time, and fearful of the dark, you call out for your parents to come rescue you. To some adults, being afraid of the dark might seem laughable. But to a child, the fear is all too real.

Many nights I feel like that child. I imagine the Perfect Father dashing into my room with a small night lamp set to a warm and comforting glow. And He doesn’t just leave after that. He sits by my bedside to talk through my fears, and even reads me a bedtime story until I have peace and rest.

I think of how my baby nephew fell and grazed his knee. And when I saw that he was alright, I kinda giggled while he was bawling on the floor (oops). To many grown-ups, such a scratch’s a non-issue. But the pain is real to that child.

The Perfect Father does not stand there like I did, giggling. Instead He runs to receive the child, lovingly blows at the wound and would sayang the pain away. And then, to make the child feel safer, He’d apply a sterile bandage over that tiny scratch.

To God, our smallest fears, hopes and desires do mean something to Him. Because they mean something to us – and we mean the world to Him.

All of us have fears, hurts and desires that may seem small to other people, but for some reason are gigantic to us. And because we think that God would not entertain such unimportant things, we hide those fears and feelings, and never say those prayers …

But the truth is that the Perfect Father always has time to listen, and has the perfect way to show you His love. Granted, not all your prayers may be answered the way you wish, but they never fall on deaf ears.

“Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:9-11)

This verse is God’s promise to us: We won’t get everything we wish for, but we can trust that God gives (or even withholds) lovingly. Just ask.

While we strive to pray with discernment so that we will increasingly pray the Father’s will, we must also be completely honest with our emotions and our thoughts.

To God, our smallest fears, hopes and desires do mean something to Him. Because they mean something to us – and we mean the world to Him.