Q. I’m writing to you because you are the only person that can give me an advice. I’m out of work, and I haven’t been able to get a job because, at my age, nobody wants to hire me. I’m waiting for my retirement funds, which are supposed to be due after my birthday, in six months. But, in the meantime, we have to live and, right now, my wife and I are going through a terrible economic crisis. So, out of desperation, I’m using all my prayers to ask the Lord for lottery money. As a born-again believer, sometimes I have the feeling I shouldn’t ask the Lord for money I didn’t work hard to get, but other times I think He is testing my faith. What should I do?
A. Other than what you’ve told me, I don’t know anything about your current situation so I can’t give you any specific advice. But I do know that there’s nothing inherently wrong with asking the Lord for help. He has promised to meet the needs of those who seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness (Matt. 6:31-34). Being born again, you seem to meet that standard. He also said that He would give to us according to the way we have given to others (Luke 6:38) and that the one who has sown generously will also reap generously (2 Cor. 9:6). These are things only you can know about yourself.
But the Lord doesn’t need for you to win the lottery in order to help you. He can bless you in a number of ways. One of His most frequent ways is to bring employment opportunities where none seem possible. That way we know they came from Him. So I would suggest that you not limit Him in your prayers and that you keep your eyes open for any means of support that come across your path. Remember, you only have to get from here through the next six months.
By the way, He doesn’t put us through difficult times to test our faith. He already knows how much faith we have. We’re the ones who need to see how much faith we have. On the contrary, He tells us not to be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, to present our requests to God (Phil 4:6). Or as a friend of mine says, “Be fearful of nothing, pray about everything, and be thankful for anything.”
In summary, being genuinely thankful for what we already have is one of the surest ways of receiving more. Being generous in sharing it is another one.