From 2017, I was becoming fed up with Church. Not Church as in what it is, but Church as in what we made it to be. If you know anyone around me then, ask them. Every time we met, I would always grumble on how the Church is missing the whole point of prayer. It made me cry every night and when I speak about it, I get attacked.
In 365 days of the year, all that most Churches do at times of prayer is praying for a husband, pray for cars, pray for visas, pray for money, pray for babies and you hardly see anyone groaning for souls, loving on the Lord and loving him alone. Even when we are asked to pray in the Spirit, most of us bear “financial breakthrough” at the back of our minds.
Haven’t you noticed? When we are called to pray for the advancement of the kingdom, to pray for our members who are backslidden or to pray for the unsaved, we murmur but the moment prayer points are raised for money, marriage, children or long life, that is when you realize that the people in the congregation are alive.
Yet, these things are things unbelievers never pray for and they have it to the full.
It’s always funny to me when some folks claim that wealthy atheists have gods that they serve which made them rich. They say so because they believe that there is no way to become genuinely wealthy! They believe that it is either God rigs it in our favour or a certain god rigs it in the favour of it’s faithful.
Let me ask…
If someone like Mark Zuckerberg serves a secret god who by their claims made him rich, why are we not richer than him because we serve the God of Gods. We don’t have to sound petty just to defend certain things.
We must know that being wealthy in material things isn’t necessarily an indication that one has a divine backing or that one is spiritually blessed by God. There is a blessing following every man, God blessed us from creation but it’s a physical blessing and we key into it by taking certain actions. God blessed man and said
“Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.” Genesis 1:28 NLT
From God’s statement above, being fruitful, reigning over the fish, bird, animals and the earth is left to us and not to God. He already gave us that blessing, making us very different from the animals. But there is a blessing only specific people have been blessed with and it is only those who are in Christ Jesus. Paul writes
“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.” – Ephesians 1:3 NLT
Money is not the spiritual blessings we have in Christ. Material prosperity is not part of it. Those are what we have been blessed with from creation. Sometimes, the way we talk about certain things ends up demeaning God and making a mockery of him.
When people say that all the rich atheists are rich because they serve a particular god, it seems like a slap on God’s face because they are indirectly saying that God cannot put his people at the top.
Do you want to hear the truth?
The likes of Zuckerberg, Bezos, Musk, Gates and so on became rich by innovation and smart work! They innovated something and positioned themselves for wealth creation. It is that simple.
The principle is the same everywhere, you sow and you reap! God created this earth and handed it over to man to dominate it and do business on it!
“As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest…” Genesis 8:22 NLT
There are seedtime and harvest time! Yes, we pray in and out of season but we don’t hand off our jobs. As we are sowing seeds (carrying out businesses), we are praying in thanksgiving and believing God for success! As we are harvesting our products, we are praying in thanksgiving and believing God for great sales!
We don’t lock ourselves up in a room to pray down seeds. It doesn’t happen that way! It is like people who keep praying for revival but do not go out of their way to minister the Good News to people. Jesus never asked us to go into the world praying. He said, “go into the world and make disciples out of all nations”. This is because the making of disciples is a process and prayer is only a part of it!
When Jesus turned water into wine, his disciples had to fetch the water. He didn’t call down wine from heaven. When Jesus fed the five thousand, someone had to provide the fish and the bread. When the wife of a man from the company of prophets cried to Elisha, she had to gather containers for oil which miraculously flowed.
This displays how action and prayers compliment. You don’t do one and ignore the other. Sometimes, the actions we take positions us either to receive of God’s blessings or to reject it. The works we do are channels through which God’s material blessings for us flow.
“The Lord will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do…” Deuteronomy 28:12 NLT
The Lord will send the rain, sometimes we can even place a demand on heaven for the rain at the proper time but the question is, are we positioned to take advantage of that rain? Have we sowed our seeds so that when the water comes, the seeds will be watered? Do we have works that God will bless?
Only mischievous people will claim that I am talking down on prayers. I will never talk down on prayer, I will never discourage prayer! But, PRAYER DOESN’T CREATE WEALTH. God will not do for you, what he has already empowered you to do.
There are things God has already empowered humanity for, these things are without repentance or belief in him. You don’t have to be a believer in Christ to sow and reap, you don’t have to be a believer in Christ to command wealth. You just have to solve problems and let people pay for it.
Regardless of who you are, you can become super wealthy if you can be innovative and create something that will solve a problem. Don’t get me wrong, the goal of believers is not to become super wealthy but to live for God. This means that even if a believer becomes super-wealthy, he or she is living for God using that wealth.
We are not in competition with wealthy unbelievers but we must also not fall into that temptation of thinking that God will make us rich merely because we prayed or believe in him. Many believers died poor, hunger killed some and yet they were believers.
Do you think electricity was discovered by praying? Do you think cars were produced by praying? Do you think the phones you use were built by praying? Do you think that those who made vaccines gathered to pray it out? No! They didn’t have to pray about it, they had to make research and experiments.
When we gather as a Church praying for money, we are mocking God! When we gather as a Church, praying that our candidate wins an election, we are mocking God with our prayers, we are mocking the faith because this is not what prayer is all about. Quote me!
The Children of this world are wiser in this regard. While we are busy praying for what God has already empowered us to do, they are busy putting their hands to work and bringing forth results.
If you don’t have water to drink, what do you do? Pray for it or go get water? Let’s say you have no means to get water and you prayed for water, what God will do is open your eyes to see the means of getting water but God will not break the ground for you, he will not bottle feed you with water. He will simply show you the means and you go ahead and fetch water.
Even when Jesus multiplied fishes and bread, someone had to share it. Someone had to bring the substance with which the miracle was made.
What many believers are doing today is that we are waiting for God to spoon-feed us! We have lost the very essence of prayer and we focus all our prayer life on material things.
Maybe, the reason you aren’t married is that you need to work on yourself and your relationship with people, not because you haven’t prayed enough. Maybe, the reason you can’t feed yourself is that you got an idea but you are waiting for money to fall from heaven so that you can start big or you are waiting for connections. It’s not because you haven’t prayed enough but because there are things you are not doing.
Perhaps, the reason you failed your exams was that you weren’t reading your books! You were told that an angel will write your exams for you if you use your exam time to stay in Church meeting! Perhaps, the reason your country has terrible leadership is that instead of carrying out your civic responsibilities, you were busy gathering in Church buildings and praying for God to make your choicest candidate win.
Look throughout the New Testament, you’ll not see even one place that the Church gathered and was praying for material things! You’ll never see the Apostles using a larger chunk of their ministry time to “release financial explosion” to their members. They rather spent time teaching the word, encouraging themselves, helping each other and enjoying fellowship with the Holy Spirit.
For those who had no work and those who were engaging in criminality, Paul never asked them to pray for money, he rather asked them to work with their hands and never be lazy. Paul gave them a profound reason why they should earn a living; to help others who would be in need.
“If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need.” Ephesians 4:28 NLT
“We command such people and urge them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work to earn their own living.” 2 Thessalonians 3:12 NLT
If prayer was how to create wealth or earn a living, Paul wouldn’t have asked that the people work and earn a living, he should have asked that they pray for a living!
Having said all of this, it’s important that I outline what the Church should pray for as we can see from the early Church and I will do just that in my next article.
I call you blessed.