40 Days of Prayer 2024: Day 34

Today is Day 34, and we are focusing on the practice of generosity.

(You can catch up on Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, Day 12, Day 15, Day 17, Day 18, Day 19, Day 20, Day 21, Day 22, Day 23, Day 24, Day 25, Day 26, Day 27 Day 28, Day 29, Day 30, Day 33 if you missed them)

We talked about God’s generosity yesterday. We can’t give what we haven’t received, so giving begins with receiving first from the Lord. Thankfully, He is abundantly generous! And as He sees us being generous with what He gives, He gives more to distribute.  Jack called this God’s blessing game, and it’s the most fun you can have!

35 By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. 36 Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”

37 But he answered, “You give them something to eat.”

They said to him, “That would take more than half a year’s wages[e]! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?”

38 “How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.”

When they found out, they said, “Five—and two fish.”

39 Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. 41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42 They all ate and were satisfied,43 and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. 44 The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand. Mark 6:35-44

What do you have?

We aren’t only talking about giving money when we talk about generosity. What do you have? Jesus asked this before He miraculously fed the multitude. The disciples saw it was late and the crowd would be hungry, so they encouraged Jesus to dismiss them all so they could go find food. Jesus said, “You give them something to eat.” This seemed like an outrageous suggestion, and they told Him it would take more than six months’ wages! And so Jesus asked them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” (Mark 6:38) Jesus began by looking at what they had.

And I think He does the same with us today. What do you have? Offer that to Jesus, and see what He can do with it! A small amount of money (for you) can be absolutely life-changing to someone else. Giving your child or friend 100% of your attention for 10 minutes can transform your relationship.  Listening only to know the other person better is a gift many of us have never given or received—life-changing! What do you have that you can give today? Begin there, even if it’s a few dollars or a few minutes of your time. Decide in advance to give it wholeheartedly and cheerfully and see what God can do with that. Remember that to Jesus the poor widow gave more than the rich did because in her poverty she was extravagantly generous. (Luke 21:1-4)

When we realize just how much we’ve been given, it’s easy to give our resources, our money, our time, our attention, and our talents. Once we begin giving, no matter how small, we become the kind of people who give, and that changes us and those around us. Giving begets giving, and we end up with even more to give.

Jesus took the little offered to Him that, in the natural, was nowhere near enough to feed the multitude.  He gave thanks, and the little they started with became more than enough as His disciples gave it. They didn’t wait for it to be multiplied before their eyes before giving it. As they gave, it was supernaturally multiplied. They fed each person till they were satisfied and they still ended up with more than they started with! In God’s economy, generosity multiplies, and we end up with more than we started with, satisfying us and giving us more to keep God’s blessing Game going.

That’s plenty to think about on this Saturday and for Sabbath tomorrow. We’ll be back on Monday with our last day on generosity and then have one more practice until Easter Sunday.

Pray together:

Father, we long to be generous, as you are generous. All we have is yours and from you. Help us live with open hands, offering what we have to you. Guide us as we give what we have to your Kingdom purposes. Bless each person here Lord, multiplying each gift as they give and let them end up with more to continue generously. In the name of Jesus, we pray together. Amen

♥ Samantha