Too often praying about church finances comes only when we’re in need or crisis mode. Perhaps we’re experiencing a slump in giving or an unexpected capital expense has come along. We might struggle to pay basic salaries and expenses. What difference might it make if we consistently and persistently made prayer an integral part of everything to do with budgeting and church finances, not just when we sense a need?
Reasons to Make Prayer an Integral Part of Budgeting and Church Finances
The first reason listed below, obedience to the commands of God, should be enough to motivate us to make prayer an integral part of all aspects of financial management. But, behind every precept we find deeper issues from which those commands find root and so we won’t stop with number one.
- Prayer is a matter of obedience. We’re to seek first the kingdom (Matt.6:33) while trusting God to take care of our physical needs. Prayer is a big part of seeking His kingdom and so we also read commands like the following:
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. (Col. 4:2)
The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear-minded and self-controlled so you can pray.. 1 Pet. 4:7
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. (Eph. 6:18)
- God views prayer as an act of worship, pleasing to Him. Making prayer an integral part of financial management is one way of bringing finances to that same level.
May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice. (Ps. 141:2)
- Praying is the Christ-like thing to do. Jesus tells us to seek His kingdom first and not worry about our physical needs (Matt. 6:33-34). His own life served as an example of putting God first by submitting to Him and seeking after Him in prayer. For more, read: Praying About Church Finances is the Christ-like Thing to Do
But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. (Lk. 5:16)
- Prayer is one of the ways we demonstrate a desire to work in cooperation with the Lord. When we pray about how funds should be allocated and other financial matters, not just that He meet our needs, we’re saying that we want to be on page with God as good stewards of all He gives us to the advancement of His kingdom. Let’s remember that before asking for our daily bread, Jesus’ model prayer suggests praying about coming into alignment with Him.
This, then, is how you 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. …” (Matt. 6:9-13)
- Praying only makes sense since we have a God with unfathomable wisdom (Isa. 40:28) and power beyond measure to accomplish what needs to be done. Can we find a better place to turn for financial consultation and drive?
And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. (2 Cor. 9:8)
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Eph. 3:20-21)
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5)
- It’s an issue of trust. How quickly we can worry and despair over financial needs. If, however, we truly believe the promises and power of God, we will pray instead whether we’re in need or not.
Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge. Selah. (Ps. 62:8)
Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf. (Prov. 11:28)
The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. The wealth of the rich is their fortified city; they imagine it a wall too high to scale. (Prov. 18:10-11)
Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle. (Prov. 23:4-5)