Diest in the Desert

Justin - Durham, North Carolina
Entered on January 10, 2009
Age Group: 30 - 50

In the past, I didn’t think that I should pray about work. I couldn’t find any Biblical evidence that God cared about my job. I believed that God was content regardless of my bank account. I was wealthy. I was poor. God was unmoved.

I felt this way because I live so differently than the Israelite tribes. I do not live in common like the early church. God is worried about my soul. Look at all the suffering in the world, he cannot be concerned about my body. I didn’t want to be anymore egocentric than necessary, so I put God in a “Deist” box.

I know that members of the New Testament church worked for a living, but when did they actually pray about that? Jesus tells Simon Peter to cast his nets after a long day without a catch. Simon reluctantly listens and so many fish come up that the nets stretch and begin to break. Simon wasn’t petitioning God for grouper. This was a miracle.

Does that justify prayer for my specific, temporal needs? I look to the Lord’s Prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread.” It seems as though there is some reason to believe that Christ has a hand in my financial affairs. I have to pay for bread.

The fish nor the loaves was enough for me because hunger is such a serious issue in our world. At many times, in my life, I’ve had plenty. I am fortunate to live in America. I am thankful and … lucky. I could be hungry in this country or one that is pre-industrial.

I could be living an agrarian lifestyle in a land that is dry, barren, and infertile. Would I have the the right to pray then? Would God care? If I planted a seed in Jesus’ name would it grow? If I had an arrow, a spear, or some other weapon and needed meat for my family, is God there? Is a business deal, a sale, a distribution order, a contract, or even a new partnership something to take before a Creator?

If you are a Deist and you believe that God had a hand in creating the world and stepped away, then no. If you believe God is active and present, then yes.

For the reasons I’ve mentioned briefly, I say yes. The fish and the fisherman, the Lord’s Prayer, and also manna from heaven. The Israelites told Moses that they were going to starve in the desert. In Exodus, the God of the Israelite’s tells Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you.”

God cares about the poverty stricken and the hungry or so I hope. Whether we plant a seed and pray for harvest or enter recession and fear the worst, God is interested. Otherwise, I’m just a Deist in the desert. This I believe.