You comb through job listings every day. You keep in touch with former coworkers and supervisors. Your resume is perfect. In short, you’re doing everything possible to get a better paying job and improve your money situation.
But, have you prayed for financial help?
Maybe in a moment of exasperation over your financial worries you thought, “Somebody, help me please.” Or when you were on your way to an interview said, “Man, I need a miracle.”
If so, then you have prayed. And you’ve prayed for financial help.
Is praying for financial help any different than praying for a loved one? Are prayers for others heard more clearly? Are we being selfish when we pray for something we want or need?
There are many kinds of prayer: Prayers of agreement, prayers of faith and consecration. And we benefit from prayer, regardless of the focus of our thoughts or words.
The word “prayer” originates from the Latin word precari – “to ask earnestly, beg, entreat.”
The act of prayer is to seek communion or communication with a source of worship or faith. That source can be associated with a particular religion. Many Christians pray to God, a patron saint, or a guardian angel. But prayer can also be directed toward a deceased person or a spiritual energy, such as qi or prana.
Prayer in general does not have to be linked to religious beliefs or practices. And the deities and concepts will vary depending on the different organizations and spiritual communities.
Some organized religions have belief systems that encourage focused, mindful prayer. There may also be a preference toward structured, pre-written prayers: The Lord’s Prayer, the Hail Mary (The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.), etc. However, when people have serious concern over weakened finances, mounting expenses, or coping with underemployment, it can be difficult to calm your mind and nerves enough to pray with a focused, sincere intent.
Other types of spiritual teachings are more inclusive about what constitutes prayer. Sometimes addressing a source of worship and asking on the fly, from the gut, or out of sheer frustration, for assistance is also a very meaningful experience.
The process of prayer is to engage with that larger part of our personal world, our spiritual practices and beliefs. And we get to that place of “communion” the best way we can. Regardless of which method or how often we pray, that relationship can evade us: We’re feeling as if our backs are against the wall – the garage door breaks, school tuition just increased – and we run the risk of feeling our prayer was insubstantial.
But I don’t know of any religion or spiritual thought that disregards an imperfect prayer.
The act of prayer alone has so many forms and circumstances, that mere participation puts you in the proximity of being and feeling heard:
- Pray by yourself or with a group
- Recite a formal prayer or improvise
- Prayers to offer thanks
- Prayers to receive
- Silent prayer or pray aloud
Some people even turn everyday tasks, like washing the dishes or mowing the lawn into an active prayer. Quieting your mind – without thinking about any word in particular can be seen as a prayer.
With so many opportunities to reach out to the broader spiritual realm, it would seem as though there’s really no wrong way to pray.
So, whether you’re asking God for no red lights on your way to work or for the milk in the fridge to still be drinkable, you’re having an ongoing conversation with a meaningful entity. And if that includes prayer for financial help, appreciate that you have a way to ease your financial concerns.
Why Does Prayer Feel Good?
People pray for a number of reasons: To feel closer to God, for peace of mind, to feel better about their situation. For many of us the act of prayer has become as much a part of their lives as getting dressed in the morning.
For some, the act of prayer means they’re accomplishing God’s work – participating in the care and well being of our culture, our families, and our society.
There’s also the practice of praying for the dead. People believe this ensures the loved one’s entry into heaven and being rewarded with gift of everlasting life. Praying for the dead also provides a communication to those we have lost and to be open for guidance and assistance from them.
Because praying can bring us closer to ourselves and others, it naturally makes us feel better. You say a prayer for a sick friend and feel that you’ve given them a special gift to be held in your thoughts, even for only a moment.
And to pray and to have prayed just feels good.
So, prayer for financial help is another way to find that peace and fulfillment. You’re taking the time to consider yourself and others – the happiness you want to experience at your workplace. The confidence knowing you’re providing for your family. Prayer for financial help calms our anxieties about trying to make ends meet. And if we’re not meeting our financial obligations, then our money situation is also ill. But have you ever wondered what these good feelings from prayer can also mean? It might surprise you that prayer can help be healthier.
Prayer can be seen as an alternative therapy, much like taking herbal supplements. A study out of the University of Rochester claims that more than 85% of people turn to prayer when facing a serious illness.
Only 36 percent of adults turned to herbal remedies or alternative treatments for illnesses in 2002. The figure from University of Rochester is more than double that number.
Countless other scientific studies have been conducted about the health benefits to prayer. Some health-boosting advantages include:
- Decrease in blood pressures
- Promotes feelings of tranquility
- Increases dopamine levels
- Boosts the immune system
- Helps you cope with disease better
These “relaxation responses” also help to deactivate the genes that trigger inflammation and leads to cell death. Researchers have also found that people who practiced prayer and meditation had fewer and less severe symptoms than others who did not.
What do People Pray For?
Let’s agree that whichever kind of prayer process you undertake is a good fit for you. And that it’s okay to fall asleep praying the rosary or doing a 15-minute angel meditation.
We pray because it makes us feel good and apparently, healthier. We pray because it helps right our personal world.
But for all of us that do this prayer thing, what do we do it for? Well, there’s a “stat” for that. Funded by U.S. News and an Internet site called Beliefnet.com set out to learn about people’s prayer habits:
- 56% of people pray for others
- 3 % of people pray for strangers
- Almost 40% said they pray to get closer to God
- 67% say they pray to give thanks to God
I’m not a statistician or religion expert, but these figures seem reasonable to me.
Praying for a better paying job doesn’t seem self-serving if it means you’re better able to take care of those around you. However, even if you’re only feeding yourself, how can it be selfish to want more money to eat better, so you don’t have health problems down the line?
Why not pray for more money so you can pay your bills on time? Praying for a better, safer car is something that could help many people – your family, friends, and complete strangers.
Prayer for financial help could provide us with resources to have more money to act in charitable ways. You could have the disposable income to attend a fundraiser for a cause close to your heart. A bit more money means we could pay it forward and buy a small bag of groceries for the neighbor who has no job.
But we all know there are many reasons why we pray – we entreat – that can’t be summarized into tidy responses to a survey. The notion of prayer is simple, the participation in prayer is personal. But the ongoing relationship with prayer changes worlds.
So, here are a few additional reasons why people pray:
- Pray for contentment
- Pray for an answer to a specific situation
- Pray for clarity
- Pray to receive help with a problem
- Prayer for world peace/those in armed services
If it’s important to you, then it’s important enough to pray for. The prayers we might say in a public gathering have a particular purpose: We’re coming together as believers and enjoying a ritual.
Private prayers, the ones we say when we’re alone or home with our families, are meant to tackle our private matters. And if that includes prayer for financial help, then so be it.
There’s No Wrong Way to Pray, But . . .
Just as you might have different kinds of conversation with family and friends, your prayers will also have a range from casual to serious intention.
I’m a big fan of casual because it keeps me in the loop with my spirituality. But I also find that I can feel good about those casual chats because I make time for some focused prayer and meditation.
Calming your mind and heart when you’re not sure how you’re going to pay the utilities bills is difficult, to say the least. But here are a few things I’ve learned over the years that help me feel the comfort I’m searching for:
- Breathe: Sometimes if all I do is concentrate on my breath I can feel myself calm down. That calm in my chest makes way for the calm in my mind.
- Focus: Even in a quiet household like mine, there’s still a lot of chatter to tune out. So, early mornings work for me. It gives me the breadth of space where I feel I can get lost in what I’m doing.
- Remember to say Thank You: When money problems overshadow your life, it’s easy to lose track of the things that are working. There is no gift too small: A compliment from a coworker or being invited out for a cup of coffee, a cool breeze. Enjoying any of these everyday occurrences can also ease our tension – we’re pulled out of our own muck and reminded there’s a big world out there.
I also make it a practice to talk myself into ease. Most of the time I just say, “It’s going to be all right. It’s going to be all right.” It’s amazing how effective a little bit of self-parenting can be.
But, however you get there is the right way and these suggestions aren’t new. But maybe they’ll remind you of ideas that helped you in the past that you want to dust off and bring back into your prayer tool kit.
And Finally, A Prayer For Financial Help
If you’re ever at a loss for how to pray for financial help, just turn to St. Google. There is no shortage of prayers and meditation with a focus on financial worries, getting out of debt, and receiving immediate financial help.
I like the site Beliefnet.com because of the range of ideas they present. I found this prayer and wanted to share it along with giving credit to the writer:
Prayer for Help With Finances
I surrender my financial affairs and concerns about money to your Divine care and love.
I ask that you remove my worries, anxieties, and fears about money, and replace them with faith.
I know and trust that my debts will be paid and money will flow into my life.
I have only to look to nature to see proof of the abundance you provide.
I release all negative thoughts about money, and know that prosperity is my true state.
I commit to being grateful for all that I now have in my life.
I learn to manage my finances wisely, seeking help where needed.
And finally, I ask you to help me understand my purpose in life and to act on that purpose with courage and strength. I know that prosperity will come, in part, by doing work I love. Please help me use my skills and knowledge to be of service in the world.
Thank you, God.
And just remember: It’s going to be all right.