Prayer, Plain and Simple

Gold coins.jpg“Money is the root of all evil…” Right? Actually no. The famous cliché that comes from the Bible, in I Timothy 6:10, says “The love of money is the root of all evil…” There’s a big difference. It’s not the stuff itself that poisons, but elevating it to the level of first-priority and first passion in our lives.

Jesus has a lot to say about money. He actually speaks more about our management of resources than he does about prayer or the Law. Really? Really.

A young man once came to Jesus asking what he needed to do to make his life perfect. Jesus looked at him and told him to sell everything he had and give it to the poor, then come follow him. The man turned and walked away. He was wealthy and couldn’t let go. It wasn’t the money itself that had to be dumped, but the love of the money, the dependence the man had built around it as a security for his life. Money, not God was sovereign for him.

We don’t have to rich to put money in a position of power in our lives. Sometimes not having money creates greater passion for the stuff than having it. Money represents for us the essence of our life purposes, the substance we exchange for our time, energy, and gifts. Money therefore can stand in for the essence or “juice” of our soul. We can give it that level of priority whether or not we have a lot of it.

So when we pray for provision – for a job or our debts or for the resources to pay our bills or send our kids to college or fund our retirement – we’re setting things in right order. We’re making God, God in our lives, and relegating money to a secondary, practical position. This is why it’s not only okay, but thoroughly good and healthy to pray for resources. Jesus tells us to do this because he’s very, very practical and he knows that God is our source, not money (which we do need). Praying for resources is a high, high form of worship. It’s setting our soul in order and putting a love for God over a love for the things God supplies.

“God, again we turn to you as the source of everything. You made it all. You still sustain it all. You made me to need things outside myself for survival. You made me dependent. I’m choosing to become dependent on you, alone. I’m choosing to lean on your and trust you and let you create the conduits of delivery in my life. I love and trust you, not money. But in my love and trust, I ask you to deliver the money I need for today’s need. I don’t need spiritual answers; I need tangible value. Thank you for your promise to be direct and practical. I ask specifically for __________ and I thank you ahead of time for bringing the answer, in your own creative way.”

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