I have mentioned this briefly in other posts, but I wanted to expand a bit on something my husband and I have been very surprised by: Praying for Provision.
My husband and I have following Jim Sammon's Financial Freedom Seminar for almost a year now. We bought the seminar online and went through it in our own living room at our own pace. One of the most amazing things I have learned from this seminar is the importance of praying for provisions from God.
The logic here is that God provides for us. Scripture points out that it is God who gives, and God who takes away. If everything in the world is his, then it is our responsibility to use his provisions responsibly and how he would have us use them. He then has a vested interest in what we buy and how.
Some people (like me before I did this seminar), believed that God didn't really care about stuff like that. Why would God care what kind of bookshelf I buy? Isn't he only interested in providing basics like food, water, and shelter? But my husband and I decided to go along with the seminar and begin praying for things that we needed or wanted. We asked for God's continued provision and the wisdom to use his provisions wisely, and then we began to pray for specific needs and wants, seeking his will before we spent the money he provided..
I felt a little stupid at first when I prayed for a computer printer. Ours broke and we used it to print coupons, among other things. Why would God care about whether or not I have a printer? The technique in the seminar is to pray and wait. Don't advertise your needs around, because God knows them. Simply pray and wait for God's prompting. So this is what we did. No one besides us knew that we needed a new printer.
Not even a week after we first prayed about it I went to visit my family and my stepmom said "Oh, by the way, do you guys need a new printer? My work had an extra one and it's nearly brand new. Do you want it?"
My husband and I were shocked. We couldn't believe it! I had doubted God's willingness to provide us with something like a printer, and he proved me wrong! Now we have a beautiful, new lazerjet printer that would have cost us a small fortune if we bought it ourselves.
Over the next months God prompted my stepsister to give me her sewing machine after I prayed for one, he prompted my mother-in-law into providing us with a new bed (which we desperately needed), and we were given a beautiful dining set just weeks after praying for one. We even prayed for a tv-stand because we didn't have one, and a week later found a beautiful, nearly-new, wood one in mint condition for less than 1/4 what it was worth.
It hasn't just been "stuff" that God has provided us with. He has also provided us with the ability to pay off our debt more quickly. The seminar shows how God will bless you in the direction you are going if it is towards him. So we vowed to get out of debt and prayed for God to help us and bless us as we try to get out of around $85,000 of debt. In just 1 year, we have been able to pay off about $30,000 of that. This was due to amazing situations where my husband was given extra work, or he got a much larger than expected bonus, etc. We have begun to realize there is no such thing as a coincidence.
Our latest prayer was for a new sofa. Ours has been on the outs for a while, but we were hoping to make it last a little longer. But as its creaking got louder and louder, we realized we needed to replace it sooner than later. So we prayed in March for God to provide us with the means to replace our sofa. We probably could have skimped on our debt payments, or taken money out of savings, but we wanted to wait and see what the Lord would do. Sometimes the Lord guides us just by making the money available for something or not.
Because of the extra money God dumped into our laps last year, we were convinced we were going to have to pay extra taxes in March. But we went to have our taxes filed and were surprised with a RETURN of some of our taxes! It was shocking! We got the money and prayed for God to help us find the best use for it. After a month and a half of praying, we finally bought a new sofa and matching chair yesterday. My husband's mother works at the store where we bought it and got us the set for nearly half-off. It's a beautiful set and I can't wait for it to be delivered in just 2 weeks.
There's 3 things I've learned on this journey:
1) God doesn't have my timing. Just because I see that I have a "need", it doesn't mean God is going to provide me with the best options right now. My husband and I have learned that if we see something we want in the store, we go home and pray about it. Usually, a week or so later, God will have prompted us to either go back and purchase it or not. Patience is key. If I had just gone out and bought a printer, I would have missed out on the beautiful, much nicer printer we were given a week later.
2) Be thankful for however God provides. Sometimes you won't always get exactly what you want. The dining set I was given was beautiful, but needed to be re-covered. It took a little work on my part, but now we have a beautiful set that will last us many years.
|I re-covered the chairs in a nice green micro-suede|
I hope you will take it from me when I say, as a person who used to believe it was stupid to pray for things like a printer or a sofa, that God truly does care for you and all that you do. He is the maker of the world and the owner of everything in it. He has proven to me over the last year that he will at least answer me if I ask.
If you want to see a great video about God's ability to provide even the smallest things, watch Gil Bates speak in THIS VIDEO. There's an option to purchase the message on the page.