I've prayed and prayed for God to help me with my financial problems, but nothing happens. I was convinced He'd help me win the latest Powerball lottery but He didn't. What am I doing wrong? — S.I.
I don't know your situation, of course -- but I can't help but wonder how you think God ought to go about solving your financial problems. Do you think He should give you a sudden windfall (such as an unexpected inheritance or a lottery payoff)? Do you think He ought to make your creditors cancel your debts? What exactly do you hope He'll do?
I ask this because often, I've found, people expect God to answer their prayers in ways that simply aren't realistic or according to His will. Nowhere in the Bible, for example, does God promise to bless us through gambling or games of chance. Nor does God promise to intervene if we get into debt because of our own greed or foolishness. The Bible warns that "A greedy man brings trouble to his family" (Proverbs 15:27).
Does this mean that God doesn't want to help you? No, not at all -- but He may do it in practical ways you've been overlooking. Do you have a budget? Is it realistic, and are you following it? The first thing you need to do is get a tight grip on your expenses. Then ask God to give you wisdom about paying back the debts you owe; your community may have a non-profit financial counseling service that can help you.
Most of all, rebuild your life on Jesus Christ. Money isn't everything -- but it can destroy us if we aren't careful. Put Christ first in your life, and then ask Him to help you be a faithful steward of everything He gives you.