The following prayers have been written by Natalie Headley. The introductory notes for each day, Natalie developed from notes from a Stewardship Conference, 2 October 2018 led by Chris Goulard & Dave Briggs. Those notes were taken by Denise Gore and Pastor Leslie, and later collected together, as well as using the conference booklet as a basis.
You can find out more about the Christian Stewardship Network, of which Chris Goulard and Dave Briggs are a part, including regular blog articles on biblical stewardship, at https://www.christianstewardshipnetwork.com/ This is the second in our series on Biblical Stewardship.
March 22 – Good Stewards: Throughout the Bible we see tithes/giving as a core factor in the sustenance of the church. In 1 Corinthians 16:1-2, Paul speaks to the church in Corinth about their collection for God’s people in Jerusalem. It says: “Now regarding your question about the money being collected for God’s people in Jerusalem. You should follow the same procedure I gave to the churches in Galatia. On the first day of each week, you should each put aside a portion of the money you have earned.”
I believe Paul is teaching us to be good stewards of our money and to remember to put aside a portion of our money for God’s people – His church.
As a child my mum always put aside monies for me and my siblings to take to church on Sundays as our ‘offering’; her example taught me that I need to give to the church. I didn’t necessarily know the true significance at the time; however, giving regularly became a habit and has now strengthened my conviction about tithing. So I would encourage all to “honour the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.” Proverbs 3:9.
PRAYER: Father God, You are the maker of heaven and earth. May our sincere desire to be good, faithful stewards of the money You have given to us to steward, bring joy to Your heart. Please help us to be diligent savers and wise spenders. Bring to our remembrance Paul’s guidance in the scriptures to put aside a portion of monies that we earn for the advancement of Your kingdom.
We ask that You give us the wisdom to apply our hearts into Your understanding, especially in the area of our finances. Enable us to apply biblical principles of stewardship so we can continue blessing others and supporting Your ministries. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
March 23 – Wise Stewards: When we prove ourselves to be wise in our stewardship, God can entrust us with more.Luke 16:10-11, ‘Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?’
Worldly wealth means money, wealth, and possessions. True riches are spiritual riches. I believe if we are not managing money well, spiritual blessings are withheld.
Matthew 6:24, ‘No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.’ The NKJV uses Mammon instead of Money, which is the spirit of a greedy desire for money, wealth and possessions influencing our actions, as opposed to living under the lordship of the Spirit of God.
So, which are you going to serve? We simply cannot have it both ways. God tells us we must make a choice. We will either allow God to have the key influence in our lives, or we will allow the force of Mammon to be the key influence in our lives. Following both is not an option. We are also confronted with the reality that how we manage the “little things” in life like money, will indicate how we handle the “true riches” of God’s Kingdom. Jesus wanted us to know the danger of following Mammon.
PRAYER: Father God, thank You for Your grace that allows us to come to You for blessings from Your immeasurable bounty. Guide us, Father, as we look to You to keep us from the love of money and greed.
Bless us with your wisdom so that we can be wise stewards of all that you have given to us to steward. We pray for continuous knowledge to look after our wealth here on earth, righteous fear to steer us away from materialism, and that our heart’s desire will yearn for true riches of your Kingdom. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
March 24 – Obedient Stewards: Tithing is about obedience to God, not depending on the generosity of the person. It has been said, which I do believe, that a person is at a spiritual disadvantage by not tithing.
We ask each other questions such as, ‘how is your marriage or how is your relationship going?’ ‘your Bible reading?’ ‘your prayer life?’ So why not tithing? Asking questions like ‘How are you doing with your giving to God?’ It is a heart check I know because a question like this shows that you also care about the person spiritually.
Mark 4:18-20, “Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop – some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.” These verses give us an insight into the potential danger posed by three powerful forces:
1. The worries of life
2. The deceitfulness of wealth
3. And the unsanctified and insatiable desire for more things – Mammon
When these three things get a foothold in our lives, the Word becomes unfruitful. If any or all of these three things are not biblically addressed in our lives – they can have a devastating impact on our spiritual growth.
PRAYER: Father God, thank You for the gift of tithing. We pray for obedience to Your Word in all areas in our lives, as well as with our tithing. Father, help us to look to You with our life worries; guide us from the deceitfulness of wealth and protect us from an unsanctified and insatiable desire for more things.
We pray that we will work purposefully under the direction of Your Holy Spirit. So, thank You for entrusting us with the task of being stewards and pray we will be found faithful. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
March 25 – Faithful Stewards: Instant gratification is a character issue which needs attention. It is a battle to fight against the tide of wanting everything immediately. This is an ongoing issue in many of our lives.
So, we must recognise it for what it is. Changing our mindsets and renewing our minds takes time. Stewardship needs to be built into everything we talk about. In the Parable of the Talents, in Matthew 25, the question was, ‘what did you do with my money!!’ Not anything else. It’s the ‘Accountability’ – ‘how did you use what I gave you?’
When the steward managed his ‘stuff’ well, God was pleased, ‘come and share in your Master’s happiness’. Matthew 25:21, ‘His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
The Scriptures are clear that God has entrusted to us the responsibility to steward what He has provided – and the quality of our stewardship matters to God.
PRAYER: Father God, thank You for giving us the opportunity of being faithful stewards. I pray that we never forget that we are called to serve and not be served! Just like a servant is faithful to their master, I pray that we will be faithful to the call of being a good steward.
Therefore, as a steward of Your Kingdom, I pray that we will hear, well done good and faithful servant, you were faithful over a few things; I ask Lord that You will make us ruler of many things so we can share in Your joy. May everyone in Telford Elim, online and in person, be good stewards of all You have entrusted to us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
March 26 – Sincere Stewards: Genesis 14:18-20, shows us The First Recorded Tithe in the Bible. It says: ‘”Then Melchizedek King of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.’
Sincere tithing is motivated by both practical and spiritual reasons. One of the most powerful, yet often overlooked, is the understanding that the first example of the giving of the tithe in Genesis 14, involves Abram (who was later called Abraham), tithing to the priest Melchizedek.
Melchizedek represented, for Abraham, a greater spiritual authority. His tithe was a tangible gesture to acknowledge the fact that he himself was subject to a greater authority. God is in charge and Jesus demands to be Lord of all our lives. Giving a tithe is an acknowledgement of this – the Spiritual authority of God.
Hebrews 7 gives an additional explanation of this story, linking Jesus’ priesthood to God’s oath to give a greater Priest (I would encourage you to explore this further in Hebrews 7).
PRAYER: Father God, there is none like You. We pray that whatever we do we will do it heartily for You and not for men, because from You, we will receive the reward of inheritance – because we serve You Lord.
So, Father, help us to demonstrate excellent stewardship skills in line with Your Word; in turn, obeying all things with sincere hearts, fearing You. Lord, teach us to give as Abraham gave with sincere hearts as we wait for your direction because You are in charge. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
March 27 – Trusted Stewards: Luke 18:18-23 – The Rich Ruler and the Kingdom of God.
‘A certain ruler asked Him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “Why do you call Me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good- except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honour your father and mother.'” “All these I have kept since a boy,” he said. When Jesus heard this, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.” When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy.’
Jesus speaks specifically to the rich young ruler challenging him to consider that as Jesus is good – then He is God Himself. Jesus also knew that this young man’s wealth was a barrier to whole-hearted devotion and discipleship. Note: Jesus said, ‘give to the poor,’ not ‘give all to the poor’.
Relying on our wealth and ‘stuff’ is not relying on God. We need to learn to give to God – it helps us to break any hold money, wealth or possessions may have on us. It is about, giving as a sign of our trust in Christ.
Abraham offering Isaac was a test. Abraham was given so much more because he was prepared to be obedient and trust God. The rich young ruler desired to be with Jesus, but his desire to hang onto his wealth was stronger….
PRAYER: Father God, I thank You that You are the God of the impossible. You can do anything. I want to always trust in Your ability and not my own. You are the Creator of all things and You sustain all of life. I come to you, acknowledging that Your will is best and that Your plan is far greater than any I could ever ask for or imagine.
Thank You for Your Words that remain the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
March 28 – Generous Stewards: From the Devotional, ‘The Genius of Generosity’ by Chip Ingram. It says that we are used to thinking of generosity as a “have-to” – a necessary but unappealing aspect of the Christian life. However, it’s really the most intelligent way to live.
People who give generously feel great about it and find themselves blessed in ways they never expected. Great things happen in them, and great things happen to those around them. Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). Proverbs 11:25 tells us, “A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”
PRAYER: Father God, You have commanded us to give, and instructed us to give generously, graciously and joyously. Even when we are tempted to keep back some of that for our own use, we thank You for the virtue of generosity. You have taught us to be generous in our giving to Your work.
You have also taught us that it is more blessed to give than to receive. You have taught us to be generous to those in need. Father God, in all our giving, remind us that generosity to others enriches us in many ways. In Jesus’ name. Amen.