5 ‘Zarephath Prayers’ to Relieve Financial Stress

Relief for when you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck, or with no paycheck at all

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Posted in , Oct 13, 2021

Money worries

My wife and I have often lived paycheck-to-paycheck. We’ve also lived no-paycheck-to-no-paycheck. Many times over the years, we’ve faced financial setbacks and shortages that threatened our sense of security and challenged our faith. At such times, I’ve turned to prayer, of course. 

Times of financial stress have often given urgent meaning to my daily prayer to “Give us this day our daily bread.” I’ve also prayed Philippians 4:19 at such times (“My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus,” as the King James Version puts it). 

But times of financial stress have taught me to pray what I call “Zarephath Prayers,” remembering the account in 1 Kings 17 of the prophet Elijah’s visit to the widow of Zarephath, whose meager resources were miraculously replenished while he remained a guest in her home. Here are five “Zarephath Prayers” that I prayed and recorded in my journal during times of financial stress:

1.

Lord God Adonai, let it be to me as it was to the widow of Zarephath. 
Let the jar of flour not be used up 
and the jug of oil not run dry 
until the day you send 
showers of blessing on me,
on my home, 
on my land, 
on my life. 
In Jesus' name, amen. 

2.

Abba, Father, 
Yahweh Yireh, 
my Provider, 
I know that what looks to me 
like severe cash flow challenges 
in the weeks and months to come 
are no different to you than 
a handful of flour in a jar 
and a little olive oil in a jug.

What you did for the widow of Zarephath 
through your servant Elijah, 
please do for me and, 
more importantly, 
for my household, 
in Jesus' name, amen.

3.

Lord God Adonai, 
my defender and provider, 
I pray once more 
as I have prayed before: 
let it be to me 
as it was to the widow 
of Zarephath. 

You know my need of the moment;
you know my need in the future. 
You know what is yet to come in, 
and what is yet to go out. 
You know the state of my jars, 
the condition of my pantry. 

I lean on you still, 
I depend on you 
to make much of little 
and enough of not enough, 
in Jesus' name, amen.

4.

Lord God, you have provided, 
you are providing, 
and you will provide: 
I believe, 
help my unbelief! 

From unexpected places, 
in unmistakable ways, 
with gracious generosity 
and gratifying regularity
you have provided for the needs
of me and my family, 
and graciously kept our stores 
of oil and flour 
from running out.

I thank you, Sovereign Lord, 
with my whole heart, 
and ask you to please 
continue.

Amen.

5.

Lord God Adonai, you have been to me 
as you were to the widow of Zarephath. 
You have supplied 
and sustained 
and showered 
your blessing on me, 
my home, 
my work, 
my life. 

Please let your faithfulness to me 
through these scary times 
of need 
and adjustment 
and faith 
be remembered in the future
whenever I am tempted 
to doubt your provision,
In Jesus' name, amen.

You may pray these just as they are, perhaps in succession, one day after another, as I did. Or you might adopt just one to carry you through a time of financial stress. You may even use these simply as inspiration to pray your own “Zarephath Prayers.” In any case, if they’re helpful, count it as yet another way that God provides in a time of need.

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