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I am struggling to provide for my family. Is it selfish to ask God for a wealthy life?


Thanks for your question, and I hope the following helps you. I will certainly be praying about this in the weeks to come.

I would like to start by saying that asking God to provide for you and your family is not a selfish thing. God does care for you and values you - Matthew 10:31 tell us this. And amazingly, Jesus tells us how to pray about this to our heavenly Father. Jesus teaches us to pray in Luke 11:1-13. In verse 3 he says:

Give us each day our daily bread

This is telling us we can ask for food, and rely on God to provide for us what we need (not, though, everything we would like to have!). In fact, God has a special heart for the poor. Mary, the mother of Jesus, declared that with the coming of her son God brought down the mighty and lifted up the humble and poor (Luke 2:51-53). Jesus himself promised, "Blessed are the poor" in his kingdom (Luke 6:20).

So: yes, pray for His provision! God does answer prayer, sometimes very remarkably.

One example of that is when God provided for His people, the Israelites, in the wilderness. God gave them 'daily bread' called ‘Manna’ and He does it still today for His loved ones. However, God answers such a prayer in various ways, and not only by some kind of supernatural event - and while He promises to meet our needs (see Luke 12:22-34) He doesn't promise to fulfil our every wish. It is daily bread, not daily feasts that we are promised! So how does God answer our prayer for His provision other than by a miracle?

One way might be to provide work rather than only to send money or other practical gifts.

Another way might be to work through what the government provides and perhaps some charitable/not for profit organisations that help people in special need. In the UK, the place to ask about this general information is a local Citizen's Advice Bureau, or for specialist debt help / budgeting / work clubs, Christians Against Poverty can help you. The government is not the opposite of God's way because He calls for governments to do what is righteous with our taxes (Romans 13:6) and it is righteous to care for those in society who through no fault of their own are in financial need (Proverbs 14:21). He also calls the Church to care for the poor.

One other way, for a few people perhaps, is for God to ask us to remain poor to live a sacrificial life for Jesus (see the story of the rich young ruler in Luke 10:17-31). God will make it clear to you if that is your personal calling, but even then He does not ask us to do wrong by our families and if you have children He has definitely called you to provide for them as a good parent.

Remember, poverty is not shameful or a sign that God doesn't care about us. Remember that Jesus gave us the ultimate example of a poverty filled life!

Jesus lived most of his adult life as a carpenter, like a modern day construction worker, ended up being homeless and brutally suffering murder.

Finally, I want you to know about something even more important than being materially successful in life. Jesus taught us to pray for daily bread, but he also spoke of himself as "the Bread of life" (John 6:35). That tells us that we not only need food for the body but also food for the soul through Jesus. 1 Corinthians 15:3 says:

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins.

The most important thing in life is not our material but our spiritual well-being and what is of first importance about that is that Jesus came to save us from our sins. Therefore this is our greatest need – a remedy for sin.  One Christian writer says this:

If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer. But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Saviour - Max Lucado

Jesus said that "whoever comes to me I will never turn away" (John 6:37). Until we turn from a life of unbelief to place our lives in the hands of Jesus and ask for His salvation, we are not right with God; and until we have prayed that prayer from the heart we cannot expect Him to hear any other prayer. But don't be afraid to come to him - he has promised that whoever genuinely comes will certainly be accepted.

In summary, God will supply our needs but not give us everything we want. In his wisdom, God has called some people to a life of poverty so that they may serve God. To others, God has given riches that they may bless others, to the glory of God. Be content with what you have and reply on Jesus, the bread of life.

Here are some more Bible Verses for your further consideration:

  • Matthew 10:31
  • Luke 11:1-13
  • 1 Corinthians 15:3

I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video

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*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise

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