And there are those who have struggled through personal crises, from bad health to divorce, that put a strain on their abilities to make ends meet each month.
In November of last year, Beliefnet member Karl Richter created a prayer circle in support of those with financial concerns.
Karl wrote, "Like many, I continually struggle with not living within my means, late bill payments, bad credit, inability to save money for my future, and all the resultant stress. I recently have come to accept that my personal resources are insufficient to solve these problems -- I need help! There are many sources of practical advice concerning money, but I need more, namely, spiritual intercession. This prayer circle is a source of mutual support for those of us who struggle with money problems. Let's join our voices to pray for the courage and knowledge to deal effectively with such important concerns."
Here's a sampling of the many prayers Karl's prayer circle received. To read more, or to add your own, click here.
"Dear heavenly Father, I have only 7 days to come up with the money to pay my house note and utility bill, or we will lose everything. I ask you that you give me the strength to deal with my problems. It is very hard to smile and be happy in front of the children. It is so hard to keep these troubles away from them, I try to not let them know what is going on. Please, please show me the way."
"Father, like a fierce spring storm, rain down open doors, answered prayers and miracle opportunities, so that we can survive until the end. Encourage our steps, sprinkle us with rewards to confirm our efforts, and give relief when the burden gets too heavy. Amen."
"Dear Lord, please help my son receive the job he interviewed for this week. He has been having such hard times getting a job and is so qualified. Since his father's death he has been depressed and feels that he continually has "bad luck." Please Almighty, teach him to have Faith in You and watch over him during these trying times. I pray that you guide him to the job he so desperately needs and let his Spirit soar."
"Dear spirit, Please remove my financial worries, and allow me to find my grounding as a joyful and abundant person that can share my knowledge with others"
"Dear God, I humbly come before your presence, thanking you for the blessings that I have received. We realize that things can be much worse than they are. I ask You to bless our family with jobs. You know that I don't desire fortune, fame or glory, just the necessities to take care of my family."
"Dear Lord in heaven, I pray for divine intervention in my financial life for my family. I ask You not to move my stumbling blocks but give me strength to climb. Guide and protect us during this stressful time."
"Lord, please help the other people who are worse off than I, provide for them food to feed their hungry children and a warm bed to sleep in and help them get a job and continue working."
"Lord God Heavenly Father, Hear the prayers of a mother. First I want to thank you for helping my oldest daughter, you know her Lord, thanks to you she now has a temporary roof over her head and her children's and you shone on her and gave a new job, a great job with the state. Now I have to come begging you again, this time for my youngest son, you know him, he is close to your heart I know he is, he is getting evicted on 1/22/01. He has helped so many others and this has caused him to get into this predicament, please help him get the necessary funds he need so they don't throw him out in the street. He is a child of 23, he has become a foster parent to any child that comes to him for help and he has helped the underpriviledged, Please God, he needs your help ASAP."
"Dear God, please help my husband find a job. We are grateful for all we have and know you are leading us in the right direction."
"Lord, I have been unemployed since August and my unemployement will run out in 4 weeks. Please help me to stay positve and continue to believe in my abilities. I am a single parent and am the only source of income for my family. My inability to find a job that will support my family is causing me to doubt my self-worth and to feel like a failure to my family. I ask this for me and for my children."
"God - we've been taught that what we sow, we reap. Please give me the courage to reap what I've sown. Please provide the strength to break the cycle and face my financial situation. Please help me face my harvest of bad credit and to give me hope that someday I will be able to face a different credit future. I pray that you extend the courage, strength, motivation and hope to all those that need the same. Amen."
"I am afraid like never before. For the first time it feels like I will not be able to take care of myself. Please pray with me as I ask God to take the burden of my insecurities and fears. Replace my anger with love and peace. Thank you for today, that I can ask for prayer."
"Holy Father, I pray for all who share in my desperation and bondage to financial trials. I seek freedom from these burdens, not only for myself but for my family. I am weary, you have promised that you will take up my yoke and I am trusting you to do so. Help us to get out of debt and out of trouble once and for all....Help us please. I don't want to live like this anymore."
"Dear Lord, Help guide me through this time of uncertainty, and give me the wisdom to know that we are blessed even when we are hungry."
"I ask for strength and determination in all areas, financial as well as spiritual. May we all see that life is impermanent, and how we deal with suffering and fear and pain is the measure of what kind of person we are. Life is a blessing; let us come to realize that."