How often do you pray? I mean really pray, not just a quick, forgive me of my sins deal. Do you really mean what you say, or are they just words? You know, often, we find ourselves giving a routine prayer….same words every time, kind of like the “God is great” prayer we said when we were little. Let me ask you, if you had a friend that said the same thing to you everytime they saw you, would you want to listen to them? Think about if the same friend came to you each day and said, “Hi, how’s it goin? Life treatin ya good? I’m sorry for not calling you yesterday. By the way, you got any money I can borrow?”

   Now wouldn’t that get old? Remember that last part, we’ll get to it in just a minute. How about if that friend hardly ever talked to you except when they want something? You are a lot more likely to loan money, a jacket, or food to someone who keeps in touch with you than one you hardly ever hear from right?

   Switch gears. Anyone remember that first car wash we did last year? Remember how that company said they’d match up to $500 for what we took in? Who can tell me how much we earned that day. $239. We worked real hard didn’t we? You know, that was in August, and I had to call the place about 6 or 7 times. It always seemed like I got the run around and a reason why they did not send it through. I got real exasperated as we hinged that on our YEC trip. It never came to pass, but the Lord provided the trip for us anyway didn’t He? And we had a great time.

   You know, I wanted to call and complain all the way up their ladder of bosses. I wanted to call and fuss and nag them every day, but the Lord laid on me, that it really didn’t matter. I didn’t need to make a ruckus. I thought about it….what good would it do. Someone would get in trouble, all of the store would be mad, and we probably still wouldn’t end up with anything but a bad reputation. So I left it alone.

   This past week, Kelly called me at work and told me I needed to call one of the people at that store as they had called for me. I was shocked. I figured, they were getting back to me to tell me, hey, you still did something wrong on this. Well, what a surprise. After all that time, after being patient, after leaving it in God’s hands, after “Being still and knowing that He is my God”… the check had come in! Yep, finally!! Awesome huh?

   Now that brings me back to my point earlier about prayer. I hear a lot of people use God as a loan shark, a boyfriend finder, a car locater, and a house builder. Ask, ask, ask, ask, ask. I see preachers preaching, “Ask and you will receive, God wants you to be prosperous not poor”. They sell money prayer cloths, hound people to fill the offering plate, promising them that God will bless them with money and riches. Then of course are the e-mails to all your friends that will bestow a miracle or wealth just by hitting the forward button. Any of you out there gotten rich yet by filling up my e-mail box? Didn’t think so. Neither have any of those people buying prayer cloths, or putting money in the offering plate hoping to get a big return like the stock market. Nope, not even the people looking at the Bank of God to get them rich or win the lottery. See, God wants us to be prosperous, and yes, he wants to bless us with riches. The sad thing is that people have gotten so hung up in the world and misinterpreted things either by mistake, or for their own gain, that they think He was talking about worldly goods.

   Yep, Abraham & Solomon, among others, were very rich men in the Bible, but EVERYBODY wasn’t. They were rich and God used them for something in particular. The whole world can’t be rich though, atleast not with material goods, and that’s where everybody misses the point. More so than that, it’s one sided. It’s all bout give me, like a little child. When’s the last time you asked for someone else to be blessed and weren’t looking for a pat on the back from God for asking? When’s the last time you asked for your CHURCH to be blessed? See, that’s what we’ve been doing, and that’s exactly what God has shown us here. He blesses us when we aren’t selfish. This time it was a blessing for the church in the form of money, and I know He has a plan for that money. Other times, He has blessed us spiritually and that is what we should really be looking for.

   God is good. In fact, you know what? Remember I said this place would match us up to $500 and we made $239 right? Well, they didn’t match us dollar for dollar. The used a different percentage basis for us. Kelly deposited the check in the Youth fund the other day. It was $972. Amen.

In His Grace,

             Mike Harris


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