The U.S. unemployment rate has hit 9.6%. Ouch. The recession now has a personal face, with these numbers representing the names of real people, real families, with real stress, real fear, and sometimes real despair.
Does God care? He does.
Jesus promises us in his “Sermon on the Mount” in Matthew 5 and 6 that God is a father who knows what we need even before we ask, and that we can trust him to respond and meet our needs before we ask. We’re challenged to ask for our “daily bread” and to trust that if he cares for the “lilies of the field” and the sparrows that don’t spend their energy fretting about the future, he will also care for us.
The caveat: we are asked to ask. “Ask and you will receive,” Jesus says. God wants our participation. Asking is not manipulating God; asking is God’s way of including us in his sovereignty. I believe it was Pascal who said (something like): “Prayer is God’s way of granting us the dignity of causation.” In prayer we become “players” is a big bad world that otherwise rolls on chaotically and out of our petty control. With prayer we “invite” God to act where we cannot. It’s the divine mechanism for allowing us the royal honor of participating in miracles. This is why Paul says in Philippians, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God your needs and don’t forget to thank him for his answers.”
Today the bloggers on Beliefnet are banding together to initiate a wave of prayers for this issue of unemployment. Check out http://bit.ly/pray4jobs. Prayer does make a difference because God makes a difference. Prayer moves God’s heart and that moves his hand! So let’s join together and pray for the many, many families struggling right now with the crisis of financial need!
“God, we trust your promises and appeal to you to honor your word to meet the needs of those who need employment and financial provision. Bring opportunity, creativity, stamina, hope, and miraculous provision to all those in financial need to look to you for help. We ask this in Jesus’ name…”