.. for instance, winning the lottery?

Who hasn’t asked for that in their heart at least once? It would be nice wouldn’t it: just think how much injustice you could solve — because that is what you would do with the money isn’t it?

hmm. Perhaps it’s not such a good idea after all. Jesus does say:

“Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven.  Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matt 19:23-24)

So, this would be like asking God to make it harder to enter the kingdom of God. I don’t think this is the kind of prayer request that God is going to answer positively.

Now, at various times there’s been some confusion about God and Money. Goldman Sachs might like to claim that getting rich is somehow righteous, but a rather more Biblical perspective comes from James:

Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. (James 5:1-5 NIV)

No, I don’t think it’s a good thing to ask for more money. On the other hand, Jesus tells us to pray for our daily bread — that’s money. So he’s saying to pray for enough, but not excess. If the only way you’ll get ‘enough’ money is by winning the lottery, well, you love money too much, and sin is reaching in through the door for you:

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. (1 Timothy 6:10-11 NIV)

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