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Financial difficulty is a reality faced by millions of Americans. There’s precious little money for the essentials—things like food, rent, and car repairs—and luxuries like eating out and going to the movies have become a rarity in many households.

But fear not. God has your back, and He’s already given you the key to prosperity: prayer. But this isn’t just a matter of asking God for money. There’s more to prayer than that.

Fortunately, Christ gave us a template for effective prayer in what we know as the Lord’s Prayer, found in Matthew 6:9-13. Let’s take a look at how the Son of God says we should pray.

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

"Here's the secret to effective prayer: it's focused more on God than on us."

Notice something about Jesus’ example? Here’s the secret to effective prayer: it’s focused more on God than on us. It’s your will be done. It’s your kingdom come. And the words that are directed at us mention not riches, but “daily bread”.

Now, this doesn’t mean that, as Christians, we’re doomed to lives of poverty. It simply means that we need to shift our perspective a little, and pray for financial success in the context of our service to God—instead of wanting money for that new BMW, we need to want it so that we can give to the poor. We need to want it so that we can more easily do God’s work in the world.

That mental shift isn’t an easy one to make, though, so let’s look at 5 effective examples of prayer that will draw financial success through following Jesus’ example.

Prayer for “Daily Bread”

This prayer is simply meant to ask God for what He has promised us—sustenance. Matthew 6:26 shows us this promise: “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

“Dear God,

I pray that would sustain me, just as you sustain the birds. Please provide me and my family with our daily bread—the essential things we need to live—so that we can continue to do Your work and bring Your light to the world. Please allow us to have the things we need.”

Prayer for Contentment

Contentment is incredibly important. When Paul wrote, in Phillipians 4:13, that “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me,” he didn’t mean that he would be magically empowered to overcome any obstacle.

No—what Paul meant was that he could be content through all things, that he can remain focused on God’s mission through the hardest of times. When you do this, when you can remain content and thankful, God may bless you in unexpected ways.

“Dear Lord,

Please grant me the strength to be content, to be able to accept my world and circumstances as they are. Please remove from me my worries and anxieties about money, and replace them with faith in You. I trust you completely, and I trust that You will take care of me and my family.

I will release negativity and worry, and focus on the blessings You have provided, Lord. Thank you so much for what You have given us.”

Prayer for Wisdom

Wisdom is one of the great keys to prosperity, and with God being the source of all wisdom, why not simply ask for it? Solomon’s prayer for wisdom in 1 Kings 3:9 pleases God, and the prayer is granted, making Solomon one of the richest and most powerful rulers of his time, despite his imperfection. We’ll model this prayer on Solomon’s.

“Lord,

You have taken wonderful care of me and my family, and shown us great love. I thank you for that. But I admit that I do not know how to proceed. Please grant me wisdom, and an understanding mind, that I might better be able to serve you and discern between good and evil.”

Prayer for Charity

No amount of wisdom, though, will prosper you without an equal amount of love to temper it. In 1 Corinthians 13:2, Paul writes that “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.” If you wish to prosper, you must have love for your fellow man, and be willing to be generous with what you do have.

“Dear God,

I pray that you would give me a generous, loving heart. Please help me to be as loving as I should be, and help me to let go of offense and prejudice, to let go of all the things that separate me from Your other children.

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