People may be able to handle many things, but when money is lacking, panic often sets in. The world economy has experienced much uncertainty recently and it is difficult to predict what the future will entail.
How do we pray in these times?
Here are a few guidelines:
- Don’t allow yourself to give in to fear. Fear has no place in the life of a Christian who knows that God made heaven and earth, and that He holds everything in His hands. God takes care of the birds in the sky and the wild flowers. He will take care of you too (Matthew 6:25-33). Stand before the Lord and look at Him until you see Him clearly, more clearly than you see the economy, and until you realise that His omnipotence is far greater than your fears.
- Jesus said, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33). Make a conscious decision to believe God’s promise more than the circumstances you see around you. Ask God the Father what it means for you personally to ‘seek first His kingdom’.
- Greed is one of the main causes of the economic situation the world finds itself in currently. Be content with what you have. Open your heart before God, and ask Him to show you every form of greed and discontentment you have in your heart. Ask Him to show you anything that you covet which you do not need. Ask Him to show you why you want it and why you are discontented. Thank God for what He has given you. Paul writes, “True religion with contentment is great wealth … so if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content” (1 Timothy 6:6-8).
- Greed is rooted deeply in fear and selfishness. Again, stand before God, and ask Him to take care of you. Confess every form of selfishness. Selfishness has its root in an inability to understand fully God’s unconditional and all-sufficient love for us. Due to this lack of understanding, we try to be self-sufficient. Ask the Father to reveal His love for you. This will drive out all fear, and it will help you to stop focusing on yourself (1 Timothy 6:9-10).
- One way in which to break the hold greed has over us, is to start giving cheerfully and abundantly. Ask the Lord Jesus to show you people who are in need, and be the answer to their prayers! People are inclined to be tight-fisted when it comes to the needs of others. However, as Christians, we should not be like this.
- Be faithful in tithing. That money belongs to the Lord. Don’t bargain with God about this. Don’t question the principle. God says to test Him in this: If we give our tithe, He will give to us, in abundance! Even if you think it doesn’t make sense to give your tithe when you find yourself in difficult times, God’s Kingdom works differently. God is no-one’s debtor. Let us do what we must do, and God will do what He has promised to do.
- Pay your debt – all of it! You are the one who got into debt, and you are responsible for getting out of debt. Even if it this means you must do without other things in order to pay your debt, you must do so none the less.
- Do not steal. For example, don’t make private calls or photocopies at work without paying for them. Don’t steal your employer’s time by leaving work early or arriving late. Pay your taxes. Ask the Lord to show you if anything you are doing is unpleasing to Him. Confess these things and repent.
- Don’t take bribes or offer them. Do not compromise in this respect.
- Pray for your daily bread. This is what the Lord Jesus teaches us in Matthew 6:11. We often think we can provide for our families by working hard, or joining some clever ‘scheme’. However, Jesus says, “Pray”! When we pray and ask God for what we need, He will give it to us, and He will provide all that we need – work, health, protection, strength and everything else.
- Don’t spend more than your income. Buy only what you really need; live more simply; start a lift club; plan your car trips; save electricity and water, etc. Don’t borrow money. Contribute to developing a culture where we help one other through sharing tools and know-how, for example.