Praying for wealth and success
Do your prayers reflect God's priorities for your life?
Praying is part of expressing our dependence on God for all things. It’s one of the blessings we can have in a relationship with God - to be invited to talk to him in prayer and ask him for things, and to know that he cares about us and listens to us. It’s even greater to know that he answers our prayers according to HIS good purposes, because sometimes the things we ask for aren’t even what’s best for us.
Prayer is more than just asking God for things.
It’s part of a relationship with God, where we do more than treat him like a slot machine and try to get what we want out of him – we wouldn’t be impressed if that was how our friends treated us! We’re also invited to praise God for who he is, thank him for what he’s done for us and the world, say sorry for the things we’ve done that upset him and ask for his help to change (repent).
While we are told to ask God about anything big or small (Philippians 4:4-7), and there are no ‘wrong’ prayers in this sense, we do have a model in the Bible of some godly prayers as we look at the prayers of Jesus (Matthew 6:9-13) and people like Paul (Ephesians 1:15-23, 3:14-19, Colossians 1:9-14, Philippians 1:3-11). It can be helpful to learn from these prayers, and from our reading of the Bible generally, about God’s priorities and concerns, and to pray in a way that’s shaped by them rather than just the things we think of most often.
Do your prayers reflect God's priorities, or your own?
In this way, you might like to consider if your having great wealth, winning the lottery, good health/marriage/more children etc. are God’s top priorities for your life. In the Bible God warns against the dangers of wealth in leading us to trust in ourselves and things in the world instead of God (1 Timothy 6:6-10, Mark 10:23-31). We’re also encouraged to thank God for the things we have now and to be content rather than seeking after other things continually. Our motives come into it a bit too. You could consider the reason for wanting wealth. It might be that you are poor & really do need more money to survive - the Lord's prayer asks God for our 'daily bread'. However, for those of us with plenty already, it could be for selfish purposes.
What else could you be praying for?
You might consider also what ELSE you pray for, as this shows your priorities. Are they overwhelmingly things concerning yourself like material wealth, or are they focussed on the sorts of things God wants most for you and his world?
Be assured that God knows what you need before you even ask it, and he is committed to your best interests even when it might not seem like it at the time. Ultimately he most wants for you to know, love and trust him, and these are good things to keeping praying for help in at any age or time in your life.
This article is an adaptation of a Q&A. Thanks to the team at Christianity.net.au for answering our Q&A questions.