Prayer is powerful. Prayer is key to success. God hears the prayers of the hurting, the troubled, and those at the end of their rope.
Prayer is also used as an excuse. Magical thinking. A way to blame God for not coming through after we’ve painted ourselves into a corner.
As a pastor, I have seen couples, families, and students engage in the magical thinking of prayer. They use prayer as a genie in a bottle to make wishes from God. Prayer becomes a magical incantation to get God to do our will. Oh, I’m guilty too. I think of how many times I’ve asked God to bless my plans before considering if my plans synced up with His plans. I rush through prayer, I become repetitive or ritualistic. I think I’ve “thanked God for the beautiful day” at least two million times.
Too often, we behave our way into bad situations. We spend too much. We give too little. We bought more house than we should have. Our shopping sprees went on for too long. Our “secret credit card” went out to eat more than Boss Hog and Jabba the Hut combined. We behaved our way into a pit. Then we want to “pray” our way out of something we behaved our way into. God loves us too much to wave a magical wand and let us go back to unwise patterns.
Jesus offers us a pattern for prayer that can fix the “why” we behaved into this situation. It can get at the root of why we keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again. Families, marriages, and nations can pretend consequences don’t matter, but the good book says, “Only the truth can set us free.”
Notice how prayer and finances connect in the words of Jesus.
Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.
The whole prayer begins by focusing our hearts on God. His plan. His kingdom. His will. Then, after we get our heart set on the TRUTH that His way is the best way, and it is only then, we are ready to think about what we need versus what we want. The reason I spend too much or save too little or give too late is because somewhere in my mind’s eye is “my kingdom.” I don’t give my tithe until I see whatever is left over… Hmmm, yes, after I’ve spent my money on “my will,” “my kingdom,” and “my name,” then I’ll pass out the leftovers on earth as it is in Hovind ~ Oops, I mean Heaven. Jesus shows us that until we get out hearts set on His Kingdom, we won’t get our budgets or spending in control. We’ll know we are “on to something,” when we start assessing our daily needs.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
So, let’s get practical. Years ago, I read several books by Howard Dayton which give practical skills to couples who want to start putting God’s kingdom into their marriage goals. There is great insight by Howard on how to start the process.
Remember, there are lots of tools out there for budgeting and goal setting, but until you get your heart right, you will never get your finances in order. “Godonomics” is about the relationship between God’s heart and your own. It’s the power of prayer unleashed into your financial life.
For a free first session of Godonomics, visit: http://www.godonomics.com/watch-session-1