This post was originally posted on ChristianStewardshipCoaching.com November 19, 2014.
A good friend of mine who writes great inspirational material asked a group of us on Facebook a rather interesting question the other day.
“How can I pray for more income without sounding greedy?”
Now I’ll tell you why this is so interesting. Because I’ve had the same type of concern and shame before when praying for blessings.
Haven’t we all?
I mean God says he wants to pour out his blessings upon us. He tells us to pray for those things that we want and need. He tells us he knows what is in our hearts and what our intent is behind our words, our thoughts, and our deeds and judges us for those. Yet we worry that if we pray for what we want we’ll be “judged” by God.
Isn’t that funny?
I mean he already knows what we are thinking and feeling before we even think it. He already has a plan for us. Ahh maybe that’s it maybe we feel like if we pray for something good we’ll be interfering with his plan? THINK about that for a second. The cosmic creator of the universe, omnipotent in all things and we are worried that we’ll interfere with his plan by asking?
It was interesting to see the answers that he got from folks.
Some told him it was only ok to pray for income if it wasn’t in his “top 5 or top 10 prayers.” (in other words its ok, but only if you don’t want it too much)
Some told him that as long as your true intentions weren’t greedy pray away. (in other words it is what's in your heart that's important)
Some told him to pray for patience to wait for God’s blessings and his timing and plan, or to pray for God’s will to be done. (in other words don't pray in a way that interferes with God's plan but rather in a way that aligns your intent with his plan)
Some told him that praying for money wasn’t greedy as long as he was pouring out blessings on others and giving back to God through them. (sort of another way of measuring intent, is the intent to hoard or to be a good steward and include helping others as well as taking care of yourself and your household?)
Some mentioned that Christians have a false belief that money is evil and only the greedy have money. While you had to have strength to help others, and money is one form of strength. (Imagine for a moment if all Christians were always poor and only those who were not Christian had any money. How long would Christian outreach last?)
Some mentioned praying for blessings not for yourself but so you can in turn serve and bless others. (so more or less a different way of saying look at the intent, is this a true stewardship intent?)
Now who was right?
Who was wrong?
Actually I think we all were and are both right and wrong. (yes I was one of those answers but I won’t tell you which one).
Truth be told in this case like many others the person was in a job they less than loved but it was paying the bills. They were trying to take their life in a new direction at the same time with a side hustle that they were hoping would grow.
But in praying for more income they were torn because if the “day job” took off they felt that God would be telling them to stay.
And if it didn’t God might be telling them to go.
And in both of these they had great fear.
This fear was really the issue.
The truth is that when we are afraid, when we are in doubt, we usually find ourselves hiding that fear behind other things.
Letting it drown out the soft whisper of God.
Of course, God being God, he WILL be heard.
But he let’s us choose. He let’s us live in a cause and effect world.
If we choose to live in fear and doubt, he is sad for us, he hurts for us, he loves us, he whispers to us, and sometimes even screams at us...
(or as I like to say hits us with a brick. I just hope over the years I’ve gotten a bit better at listening for the whispers rather than waiting for the brick).
But one way or another he cares for us and wants to pour out blessings upon us whether we pray for them or not.
So I say why not pray for blessings without shame or fear, the worst that can happen is they don’t come because they aren’t yet part of God’s plans, but at least you’ll be praying honestly for what is in your heart.