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Prayer and Playing the Lottery

This preview of Daily Guideposts 2015 explores faith, prayer, luck and the grace of God.

By Edward Grinnan, New York, New York

As appeared in

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. Hebrews 11:3 (NIV)

A few days ago there was a massive jackpot that had folks going crazy buying tickets. My friend Jaseem, whose father owns our little neighborhood newsstand and who is studying psychology in college, tells me, “Buying a ticket is hope-affirming. It makes people think that they could wake up in the morning to find their lives completely changed.”

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Except aren’t we already supposed to be doing what we really want with our lives? I have nothing at all against people playing lotto.

I caught my mother at it once, which, if you knew my mother, would have surprised you too. When I teasingly confronted her, she said that if she won the jackpot she would give it all to her church for programs to help the poor. That was Mom.

For me, at least, hope is the product of faith. I pray that I wake up every morning, thinking that my life could be changed not by a random number or lucky hunch but by the grace of God.

Father, with You nothing is a gamble; nothing happens to us by chance. Faith is the surest bet I know. Please help me live fully the life You have planned for me.