By Dr. Audrey Davidheiser, Crosswalk.com
My eyes bulge at the number.
The gas company claims that’s how much I owe them for heating my house last month.
But my gas bills have always averaged in the elevens and twenties. Last month was $27.93.
Yet, this is just one measly bill among many. The rest of the pile screams the same insistent tune: water, power, trash disposal—they all demand that I cough up more.
Can you relate?
It’s hard finding someone who hasn’t felt the pain of this 40-year high inflation. While scrolling online, I stumbled on a stranger’s post, lamenting that she has had to keep her thermostat at a crisp 60 degrees—during winter!—because she couldn’t afford to pay more. I hope she doesn’t get frequent snowstorms.
Whether you share her exact plight or not, if these exorbitant prices alarm you, I have news.
It makes sense to feel afraid.
You won’t hear any peep from me about stifling your feelings because, as a psychologist, I value emotions. Sure, the Lord has not given us the spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7), but neither has He created us to be robots. Our Creator endowed us with the ability to feel.
Feeling afraid in the face of outrageous prices and an uncertain future is understandable.
However, feeling something—and acknowledging it—is different than building your life based on that feeling.
So, here’s a powerful action we can take in the midst of inflation.
We can pray.
The Bible records examples of individuals who prayed and received their answers:
- When Isaac’s barren wife conceived, we are informed it is because the Lord answered his prayer (Genesis 25:21).
- Hannah yearned for a child. While she prayed for one, God granted her six (1 Samuel 1:10-20, 1 Samuel 2:21).
- Elijah’s prayer ended a multi-year drought (James 5:18).
In case you’re tempted to dismiss their stories—perhaps because you assume they received their breakthroughs because they were a special breed—James 5:17 paints Elijah as someone who was “as human as we are” (NLT).
If Elijah was as influenced by his humanity as we are, then our prayers can affect as much radical change as his.
The truth is, “as the Scripture says, ‘Everyone who calls out to the Lord for help will be saved’" (Romans 10:13, GNT).
So, let’s not discount our own prayers, especially because God is described as the One who hears prayers (Psalm 65:2).
4 Prayers and Practical Applications
But it’s not enough to just pray for our needs. It’s important to pair prayers with action steps. This is one takeaway from the book of James: faith without action is dead (James 2:17).
David illustrated how he juggled both in Psalm 27:4. “One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in His temple” (ESV, emphasis added).
Notice how David asked the Lord for permission to dwell in His house, but didn’t stop there. David also determined to pursue this goal himself. In other words, he called on God and chased the very action he requested from the Almighty.
Here, then, are four verses for you to meditate on, prayer points you can uplift, as well as their corresponding practical steps.
1. Not to Idolize Money
“Do not have other gods besides Me” (Exodus 20:3, CSB).
If you’ve ever dined at an Asian restaurant, you might have spotted a potbellied statue, usually golden, of a laughing Buddha. These statutes qualify as gods.
But just because you’re not a Buddhist doesn’t mean you worship no gods. Amassing wealth, losing weight, scoring thousands of social media followers—anything, really, can become an idol.
In times of hardship, let’s be extra vigilant not to confuse money with the divine, as though its presence could satisfy all our needs.
Action step: Are there idols crouching within you? Ask the Lord to search your heart according to Psalm 139:1 and Psalm 139:23-24. If financial worries regularly consume your attention, spend time with this article.
Prayer: Lord, please forgive me if I have idolized money. I don’t want to worship anyone or anything else. Help me live out this truth, including when prices keep skyrocketing.
2. Restore Trust
“When I am afraid, I will put my trust and faith in You” (Psalm 56:3, AMP).
Do you run to God when situations scare you?
Neuroscience demonstrates that when we’re overwhelmed, the best way to regulate our emotions is by turning to another person. What better candidate to run to than the Lover of our soul?
Action step: If you don’t run to God when you’re afraid, find out why. Did He let you down? When? If church leaders or fellow Christians hurt you, undermining your trust in Him, ask the Lord to help you see the difference between them and the One who has loved you from eternity.
Prayer: Lord, help me trust You wholeheartedly.
3. Keep Us Alive
“Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, on those who hope for His lovingkindness, to deliver their soul from death and to keep them alive in famine” (Psalm 33:18-19, NASB).
Famine is a real threat. So is lack of money, particularly in the face of exorbitant expenses. But these verses promise that God focuses on us in difficult times—if we revere Him as Lord.
Action step: Do you revere God? Check whether your behavior lines up with your answer, both on a daily basis and when you attend church.
Prayer: Lord, You know the amount of money this family needs to survive. You also know how much money we have compared to how expensive things have been. Please provide what we need, whether through expected or unexpected means. Help us hope in You alone. Regardless of how terrifying the news gets or how high prices climb, help us believe that You are able to preserve our lives.
4. Care for Others
“Blessed are those who have regard for the weak; the Lord delivers them in times of trouble. The Lord protects and preserves them—they are counted among the blessed in the land—He does not give them over to the desire of their foes” (Psalm 41:1-2, NIV).
When times are hard, and money is scarce, human nature can steer us to selfishness. It’s hard enough to meet our own family’s needs—who has the resources to care for another?
But the above verses remind us that the Lord protects us when we care for the weak, including those less fortunate than us. And while we shouldn’t give with the motivation of reaping a handsome reward, God has promised that when we give, we shall receive (Luke 6:38).
Action step: Don’t be ashamed if circumstances prevent you from bestowing a large financial gift. There are many ways to help those in need. What about slipping an extra can of soup into your cart each time you shop for groceries? You can bless a widow, single mother, or starving student with it.
Consider volunteering at a non-profit as well. Psalm 110:3 states, “Your people will volunteer freely on the day of Your power” (NASB). Wouldn’t it be wonderful to volunteer for the sake of others, and as a reward, God unleashes His power for us?
Prayer: Lord, please open my eyes so I can see the needs that others have. Help me help them.
In Jesus’ name, so be it.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/fizkes
Audrey Davidheiser, PhD is a California licensed psychologist, certified Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapist, and IFSI-approved clinical consultant. After founding and directing a counseling center for the Los Angeles Dream Center, she now devotes her practice to survivors of trauma—including spiritual abuse. If you need her advice, visit her on www.aimforbreakthrough.com
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
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