All the fanciest dijon ketchups with my Kraft Dinner.

I’ve always been a bit turned off at the idea of praying for money. My former mother-in-law – the sort of woman who home schooled her daughter in an isolated conservative Christian setting – of the “Earth’s 6000 years old, Catholics worship Satan, and gay immigrants cause natural disasters” variety – admitted that she prayed every week that she would win the lotto. It’s not like she needed it – it’s not like 4 out of 5 of her kids weren’t already doing well for themselves – maybe she wanted it for Pat Robertson, or Casey Treat, or Oral Roberts.

But this isn’t about her, it’s about the idea of praying for money, specifically Christians praying for money. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of needs in the world that could use divine help. People are hungry, they don’t have homes, they don’t have the medication they need, they have mechanical problems when people depend on them. And money is often what’s needed to make it happen. One could volunteer their time at a soup kitchen – performing the manual labor necessary to feed the local hungry – but somebody needed to donate the food, and that food most likely needed to first be bought by the donator. Somebody needed to buy or donate the lumber and nails when volunteers build a porch or a home for someone in need.

Yet, the hungry person’s immediate need is food for the belly, not money for the store. The homeless person immediately needs the roof and a bed or couch, not the downpayment. Still, without money the aid is temporary. If it could be daily guaranteed that would be one thing – but often enough they are most definitely not given this day their daily bread.

So, despite my resistance to the idea, I see where there’s the human need to pray for money – and being irreverent I looked for a loophole.

And I thought – wouldn’t it be wonderful if I could give my church a million dollars. My church isn’t a towering megaplex focusing on showbiz over substance, they would use the money properly. Yes, the pastor would need some so that she can eat and in order to drive so as to minister to those too ill to make it in. And some would go to building upkeep, and Sunday school materials – to scholarships, missions – disaster relief, hunger relief, prison ministry.

But I realize a lump sum of one million would be tempting. Surely a golden candlestick could be afforded – or a twelve-foot flatscreen to cover the cross hanging over the altar. So to avoid the temptation – and for all to show their patience, and to show that they desire no more than only that which they need – it could be done monthly over the course of twenty-five years.

And since the most common way to give to the church is through tithing…

A mere $14 Million dollar lottery win is all I would need. After a nasty chunk of it is taxed out, and it’s split over 25 years, a monthly 10% tithe amounts to something in the neighborhood of $3360. Of course other members would be tithing what they could – and the various bake sales, bazaars, and other fundraisers would still happen – and my church would be allowed that much less worry to do its work serving Him.

Yeah, I know Matthew Chapter 6 and about 50 other verses have plenty to say against us worrying – regardless of whether we have millions of silver pieces or not a single mite – but, hey, we’re human and we’re still down here.

So, I can get over my distaste of praying for money if I’m limiting it to one lifetime windfall of fourteen mil split over time and tithed to the church. With my remaining 90% I certainly wouldn’t be indulging in Diamond-encrusted Rolls-Royces, Beluga Caviar Pizzas, or toilets with Dom Perignon flowing from the pipes. I wouldn’t even buy my own golden candlestick. I’d add to what the church worked towards – I’d pick up the slack for that which the church wasn’t able to cover – I’d still gravitate first to the dollar menu at McDonalds.

So, $14,000,000. It’s alright to pray for that, right? It won’t be selfish? It won’t be hypocritical? It won’t be greedy?

Wait, that last one, “greedy”. Would it be better to cut it ten percent from the beginning? Pray for a one-time lifetime win of One-point-Four million, leaving a more reasonable monthly tithe of $336? The church would be helped – definitely by more than if that three-thirty-six wasn’t coming in – but wouldn’t be tempted to slack off and not work for the monthly cash, and eventually not work for the things which the money’s supposed to help with in the first place.

I didn’t want anyone to be idle, I just wanted us to be stress free. One-point-Four would definitely alleviate a lot of stress, allow me, allow us to be better focused on our work ahead of us. More could even be skimmed from the beginning if necessary – a flat million – who in their right mind grumbles and gripes and is disappointed over winning a million dollars? That’d still give the church $240 from one of its families – really, what more could it expect anyway? It’ll still go towards the right things.

Maybe my former mother-in-law would’ve tithed to her church – oh, that’s right, for all her preaching and shaming she didn’t attend anywhere – in fact, she often bragged about the different pastors who asked her not to come back – what the hell am I even talking about her for. But I guess praying to win $1,000,000 from the Lotto might not be so bad.


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