Praying about Poverty
Poverty is still a major issue throughout the world. Are there any Bible passages that can help me pray about poverty?
The Bible is a source of comfort and inspiration for me on this issue. The very first of Jesus' Beatitudes is, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 5:3). To me, "poor in spirit," is akin to the word "humble" and can describe those seen as less fortunate very well. And, as Jesus said, "every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted" (Luke 18:14). We can trust that God is blessing everyone.
Editor's note: How wonderful it is to know that the "poor in spirit," the humble-minded, those willing to do God's will are blessed, are happy! And what a good reminder Jesus gave us not to hold ourselves superior to anyone else for any reason -- no matter what inequalities might seem to exist between us.
Jesus also reminds us:
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matt. 7:19-21)
It is comforting to know that if one does not rely greatly on material wealth but instead on spiritual aid, there will always be an unending supply of help for those who trust God. Heaven is like a safe that you can put all of your most precious possessions into for as long as you want and know that they will always be there in the same condition when you return.
Holding tight to material possessions often makes us forget about what's really important in life. The best "possessions" in the world are not material things at all; they are spiritual ideas that intrinsically supply our needs. We can pray to know that everyone, whether he or she has a lot of money or no money at all, can experience the feeling of true wealth that comes from the greatest treasure of all -- the gift of God's grace, the inheritance that is ours because we are God's children. We can trust that this spiritual nourishment is helping the poor, giving them strength, and taking care of their needs.
Lastly, Jesus lays everything out plain and simple for us:
And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you,… for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. (Matt. 7:28-30, 32)
Think of grass, the meekest of meek, which is stepped on hundreds of times a day, and the lilies that grow among the grass which are more beautiful than the kingdom of a powerful king. By simply rejoicing and glorifying God by expressing Him, we will see that we have all we need. The Bible tells us that God loves all His children and supplies them all equally.
Editor's Note: Jesus' ministry was to the poor, to the outcasts, to the downtrodden. He gave them hope by letting them know how much God loves them, by letting them know that their lives could be changed in an instant. He didn't see them as helpless victims. He saw them as beautiful children of God. One of the best ways to pray for the poor is to reach out in love to them, to see them as Jesus saw them, to refuse to label them as poor and needy, to see them as cared for in their Father's tender, loving arms. In truth, that's where we all live.