How Affluence Can Affect Prayer

The following is an excerpt from The Kingdom Unleashed Sampler. Download this free eBook here.

The affluence of the Global North has also had a negative impact on prayer because we unconsciously believe that we do not need to rely on prayer for most things in our daily lives. The Global North is so wealthy that most of us do not have to worry about having our basic needs met. The things that we think we need are better described as things that we want, and our problems are mostly “first-world problems,” and our “prayers” are more like selfish wishes. Scripture often warns us of the dangers of affluence, including presuming on the future (Luke 12:16-21) and forgetting the Lord (Deut. 8:17-18) because we assume that we got where we are by our own power or abilities. Jesus’ instructions to pray for our daily bread seem irrelevant when we have a refrigerator full of food.

This is an excerpt from The Kingdom Unleashed Sampler. Download this free eBook here.

This abundance of resources also seduces the church away from relying on prayer. Consider how decisions are typically made in churches: there is a short prayer followed by a long discussion about the issue; a proposal is made and voted on; and a short prayer is said asking God to bless the decision that was made. We would be far better off spending more, if not most, of our time seeking God’s wisdom through prayer rather than relying on our own ideas. Yet we are so used to making our own decisions and relying on our own resources that it seems natural to do that in the church, as well. We pay marketing, media, and management consultants to tell us how to grow the church, how to run stewardship campaigns, how to raise money for a building fund—all examples of relying on our own resources rather than on prayer and the Holy Spirit.

The simple truth is this: secular methods will never produce spiritual results. There are no consultants in the places where the church is growing the quickest. Those brothers and sisters have to depend on prayer and on obeying the instructions given in Scripture for spreading the Gospel.


This is an excerpt from The Kingdom Unleashed Sampler. Download this free eBook here.

Order the Full-Length Book Here.


JERRY TROUSDALE and his wife Gayle were missionaries among a Muslim people group in Africa. He pastored two mission sending churches, co-founded Final Command Ministries, and since 2005, has been Director of International Ministries for New Generations.  He is also the author of best-selling book Miraculous Movements.

GLENN SUNSHINE is a professor of history at Central Connecticut State University, a senior fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and the founder and president of Every Square Inch Ministries. He is an award-winning author, and has taught seminars on worldview, church history, and theology across the U.S. and in Europe and Asia.

GREGORY C. BENOIT brought his rich background in journalism, theology, and Christian publishing to this project.


Photo by Olu Eletu on Unsplash

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