Christians, Prayer, and the Financial Crisis (Proverbs 30:7-9)

Though I normally head my posts with the scripture passage we will ponder together, I wanted to place a thought in your mind to set the context before you read this one. How are we to respond to the “financial crisis?” There appears to be a bill on the table that the House might pass. Perhaps 700 billion dollars is on the way to soothe our economy in shambles.

But still, we need to think about how to look at financial issues. How should we look at the economy? What kind of prayer should we pray as we ponder Wall Street, failing banks, and gigantic gas prices? How about this. . .

Proverbs 30:7-9

7 Two things I ask of you;
deny them not to me before I die:
8 Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the food that is needful for me,
9 lest I be full and deny you
and say, “Who is the Lord?”
or lest I be poor and steal
and profane the name of my God.

When is the last time that you talked with any person who said that they want neither too much nor too little? I’d hazard that you do not hear such an answer from the lost and dying world. Sadly you probably do not even hear this answer from Christians very often. But the prayer of Proverbs 30:7-9 is a perfect Christian response to times of financial difficulty.

This passage is also a perfect answer to give to a person on the street who wants to know what you think of these tough times. Just picture it. You are in a local café, and a lost friend across the table brings up the subject of the struggling economy. Your answer, instead of bemoaning the horror of the situation and acting as though your life rises and falls with the stock market index and the price at the pump , is to say, “you know what, I’m turning to God in this time, and I’m praying that he will give me neither too much nor too little money. I do not want too little, because I do not want his name to be dishonored by me not having enough. I want him to show that he takes care of me and mine. And so far, he has never let me down. I also do not want too much money, because I do not want to become enslaved to money, greed, and material things. I do not want to pretend that I think I can live this life on my own. I want just enough, so that I can get by and show the world that my God cares for me.”

We need to be sure that we do not fall prey to the materialistic and selfish culture in which we live. Let us learn to pray Proverbs 30:7-9 and mean it. If we cannot, then we need to repent and ask God to help us to treasure him over any material gain. This is harder than you might think, because we seldom really look at our finances as a resource for glorifying God by having just enough. Let us become more giving, more loving, and more God-centered with our money.