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How should I pray for prosperity?

The Bible does not teach us to pray for our prosperity! Instead the Lord Jesus himself taught that we are to pray for God’s will to be done and to ask Him to give us what we need in order to serve Him. In other words we should pray that God’s kingdom advances and grows and is prosperous! See Matthew 6:9-15.

In fact the Bible says that when we pray for our own selfish desires we are unlikely to receive what we’ve asked for. See James 4:3: When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. (NIV)

Christians are not to think that prosperity in this life (riches and a long life) is promised by God. In the Old Testament, prosperity was regarded as a sign of God's favour; in the New Testament, rich and poor are equally regarded in God's sight. But the New Testament highlights that our attitude to wealth and the wealthy is important. The love of money is described as a root of all kinds of evil. See 1 Timothy 6:9-10; Hebrews 13:10.

However the Lord does promise that to those who follow Him in this life (through suffering, hardships and persecution) He will provide for their needs and give to them eternal life (Mark 10:30). If our heart is for the Kingdom of God our treasure is laid up in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21) and we will find that all earthly treasure is fleeting or disappointing at best.

It is right to pray that God would give us sufficient so that we can also give some away, but the route is hard work (see 1 Thessalonians 5:12-15 and 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15). We should not assume or expect that others will give to us.

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