Question: If a pastor comes to say ‘pay an amount of money for prayers so one can have open doors’, and I have seen someone else do it and it worked for the person, what should I do about this? Should I Pay My Pastor For Prayers
It is becoming pertinent to address the issue of paying for blessings, as everyday this unbiblical practice is becoming more popular in the Christian body. I can almost confidently say that if you are Nigerian like me, you either know someone or have been the target of ‘blessing merchants’. So in this article I aim to clear the air a little over the subject for money in exchange for blessings, by employing the only viable tool for finding out the truth- scriptures properly interpreted.
The first question to answer is, what is the blessing?
I feel most of the problems surrounding this topic come from the way we define blessings today or who a blessed person is.
We are in the day of the Spirit, the New Testament, so terms must be defined within the context of what now pertains. A careful study of what it means to be blessed in the New Testament tells us that it majorly implies one thing. Join me as we look at some verses below:
David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the LORD will never count against them.“Romans 4:6-8
In the verses above, David in prophecy (the quotation from Paul is taken from Psalms 32:1-2) gives a description of who a blessed man is and it is that man who God will call righteous outside of his works. No mention of cars, houses or money.A blessed man is the man God calls righteous outside of his works. No mention of cars, houses or money. Click To Tweet
Just because we need at least two witnesses to establish a matter, let us look at another portion.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. – Ephesians 1:3-6
Verse three tells us that God is blessed for blessing us with Spiritual blessings. The fact that the word blessed is used for God, should tell you that the contextual use of the word is different from what many believers think about when they hear it today.
If we decide to go with the popular definition of blessings or what it means to be blessed, then we will be implying that God has many cars, houses and a fat account. But this will be a very illogical stance, as God is Spirit, hence does not store or have need for material possessions. To be honest it only makes sense when you think about blessings as being the status of righteousness, then we can say God is blessed (righteous) for making us (righteous) in Christ Jesus.
Another thing to take note of in the verses following verse three is that there is once again no mention of material things. With the previously quoted texts we can come to the conclusion that a blessed man is a man who has been called righteous on the basis of Jesus’s atoning work and the blessing is the righteousness that comes as a result of believing in what Jesus did in his death, burial and resurrection.
Just to add the icing on the cake let us look at one more text.
13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” 14He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. – Galatians 3:13-14
The Bible tells us that Christ became a curse for us, so that we may receive the blessing of Abraham. Before we jump into conclusions on what the blessing of Abraham is, we should let the Bible speak for itself. So, verse 14 tells us that this blessing is that we get to receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith. You must understand that the receipt of the Spirt is God’s approval of a man AKA righteousness.
So Abraham was not called a blessed man because he had an abundance of material things, but rather the New Testament tells us he was called blessed because God called him righteous for believing (Genesis 15:6). This implies that the blessing of Abraham is the gift of righteousness through faith.So Abraham was not called a blessed man because he had an abundance of material things, but rather the New Testament tells us he was called blessed because God called him righteous for believing. Click To Tweet
This is the stance the New Testament takes in describing a blessed man and the blessing, so this must be our stance as well.
Now that we know what the blessing is, the next question is can this blessing be bought with material things.
The answer to this should be quite obvious, it is a capital NO.
Jesus has paid the price for the blessing, not even our good deeds are good enough to merit the blessing of the Lord. To this end, it will be genuinely fraudulent for anyone to demand money in exchange of blessings.
Also I dare to state that it is an insult on the sacrifice of Jesus to think that the blessing can be purchased with petty material things (1 Peter 1:18).
To be honest if your definition of blessings is an accumulation of material wealth, my candid advise to you will be to go and work. The Forbes list should teach you a lesson on this. Currently the wealthiest African is a Muslim who does not subscribe to your method of purchasing blessings, rather the man just does his business. But based on the Bible’s definition of a blessed man, he does not qualify to be called blessed.
Anyone requesting for money or for you to ‘sow a seed’ for a blessing is stepping out of line and we are grateful that the Bible warns us about such men. Please read through the scriptures below for clarity:
In their greed, these false teachers will exploit you with deceptive words. The longstanding verdict against them remains in force, and their destruction does not sleep. – 2 Peter 2:3
If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our LORD Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. 6But godliness with contentment is great gain.
– 1 Timothy 6:3-6
For many are rebellious and full of empty talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision, who must be silenced. For the sake of dishonorable gain, they undermine entire households and teach things they should not. – Titus 1:10,11
See, I am ready to come to you a third time, and I will not be a burden, because I am not seeking your possessions, but you. For children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children…For we are not like so many others, who peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as men sent from God. – 2 Corinthians 12:14,17
28Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. 29I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears. 32″Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. 34You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. – Acts 20:28-34
So that is more than enough proof that it is grossly inappropriate for a preacher to demand material things in the name of praying for ‘blessings’.
However, to strike a balance, the Bible does teach that we should give to our spiritual leaders.
In Galatians 6:6, 1 Corinthians 9:1-14, 1 Timothy 5:17-18 the word honor is more accurately interpreted as monetary wages and this point is buttressed by verse eighteen. But still a preacher must never under the pretense of praying for blessings, demand for money or anything material.
What is scriptural is to give to someone who has blessed you (like taught you, your pastor…) but never a prerequisite for the blessing.
If Peter could sharply rebuke Simon for thinking he could purchase the gift of God (Acts 8:18-24), then no one has the rights to demand for money in exchange for blessings.A preacher must never under the pretense of praying for blessings, demand for money or anything material. Click To Tweet
So stay woke and I call you blessed because you actually are.