Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the Lord ?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God. [Proverbs 30:8-9]
I find this an interesting prayer and one I am only half good at. I can pray all day long for God NOT to give me poverty. I mean, isn’t that the prayer of most people? But the next part I can’t say I have ever prayed before:
God, please don’t make me rich.
If you were to pray that line in public you might get some strange looks. Right? But then consider what else the author says:
lest I be full and deny you and say ‘Who is the Lord?’
Dear God, may I never say that. May I never deny you. May I never place riches as my god. My I never become so content that you are nothing more than a vapor in the wind to me. But don’t we already do this? Don’t we already become complacent at times with ease of life? Don’t we already forget to thank and praise God for good things. I guess this prayer is more important than I thought.
But what if you are living in poverty or are very rich. What then? Has God cursed you by placing you in poverty or by making you rich? By no means. Consider what the author prays next:
feed me with food that is needful for me.
This is no doubt the Word of God. This is the faith to know and receive Jesus as Lord and Savior. This is asking for the eyes to see our sinfulness and the faith to acknowledge such. This is the faith to bring our sins before the throne of grace. This is feeding on God; that which we truly need. As scripture says, man shall not live on bread alone but from every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord (Deuteronomy 8:3).
What a powerful and convicting prayer. It is one that directs our attention to where it should be. Poor or rich let God be God and may we praise him as such. Let us pray this together:
Holy God, may I not be distracted with poverty or riches but rather feed me with your Word. And may I never feel so full of your Word that I stop feeding and receiving from you. O God, you are my God no matter the circumstances in my life. May you always be praised and worshiped. Amen.
The Pastor -|—