What if I told you prayer and following God’s principles for finances could result in financial gain? I think most would be turned-off either because it sounds like one of those “health and wealth gospel televangelists,” or because it sounds self-centered in contrast to our servant leader, Jesus. Others would think, “Well, that’s just like the church—using God to get more money.” There are a lot of reasons to avoid the subject of money! In spite of the cynicism and skepticism and criticism that it can generate, there are a number of spiritually healthy reasons to talk about money. For one thing—Jesus taught on or used money as one of His most frequent subjects.

Jesus taught on money for very practical reasons. A survey of Crown Ministry graduates showed that, on average, each family that is taught this message will within three years: pay off $20,000 in debt, save $10,000 they did not have before the study, give 72% more to their church, spend more time in prayer and Bible study, and spend one hour and 12 minutes more every week in service to their church. Those are some of the most measurable results from any program I’ve ever seen! (Cited in a 2005 letter from Crown Ministries, a nondenominational, evangelical Christian ministry committed to equipping servant leaders to live by God’s design for their finances, work and life.)

This month we are exploring the power of prayer in our 40 Day Prayer Covenant sermon series and also considering our plan for ministry expenses in 2015. I can’t think of a better context than prayer for planning and visioning. Trinity continues to experience God’s grace and power touching people on an almost-daily basis. And your gifts help make that possible.

We are seeing how earthly treasures can become heavenly ones. A. W. Tozer said: “As base a thing as money often is, it yet can be transmuted into everlasting treasure. It can be converted into food for the hungry and clothing for the poor; it can keep a missionary actively winning lost people to the light of the gospel and thus transmute itself into heavenly values. Any temporal possession can be turned into everlasting wealth. Whatever is given to Christ is immediately touched with immortality” (from Randy Alcorn, The Treasure Principle, p. 55).

Money is a spiritual force of such significance that Jesus warned us that we could either serve God or Mammon (money) but not both. We dare not dismiss its spiritual influence. So here are some ways to pray about your finances: Pray to keep God first and money in the place of servant. Pray to develop confidence in God’s provision. And pray to hear God’s direction for giving.

See you in church—and let’s take a new step in praying!