A few years ago a book that promoted the prosperity Gospel, A Prayer of Jabez, was making its rounds in the popular religious print world.
I never read it – and have no desire to read it.
I find the challenge of Jesus much more challenging and appealing: sell all you have and give it to the poor and follow me.
Of course, I haven’t followed that. Nor have I followed the injunctions for a missionary from today’s Gospel, Luke 9:1-6:
Take nothing for your journey…
Yet, for those of us not yet ready to take the plunge, today’s reading from Proverbs (30: 5-9) offers a way of praying for God’s guidance in regard to wealth:
Two things I ask of you, …
Put falsehood and lying far from me,
give me neither poverty nor riches;
provide me only with the food I need;
Lest, being full, I deny you,
saying, “Who is the Lord?”
Or, being in want, I steal, and profane
the name of my God.
A few years ago friends gave me a CD of songs of Bryan Moyer Suderman with a sung arrangement of this prayer of the unknown Azur. The words make the prayer a lot more poignant:
Two things I ask of you, O God:
Take away my falsehood and lying;
make me neither poor nor wealthy,
but feed me with the food I need.
For I know if I am full I’ll forget it comes from you.
If I am hungry I’ll steal and curse your name.
So, feed me with the food I need.
And so, until God gives me the grace to give up all and place my trust in the Providence of God, I think this prayer is a good first step.
So, pray this prayer today.
The mp3 is available here.