3 Principles of Prayerful Giving


I am amazed at the clear insight God granted King David in so many areas, including giving and possessions. In his later years, David gathered everything needed for his son Solomon to build the Temple of God, a place of worship. As you read his heartfelt prayer (and, I suggest, you read all of 1 Chronicles 29 to get the full picture of this extraordinary generosity that was displayed by the people of Israel), we can learn three important principles about generous, prayerful giving.

“David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly, saying,

“Praise be to you, Lord,
the God of our father Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.
Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power
and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, Lord, is the kingdom;
you are exalted as head over all.
Wealth and honor come from you;
you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power
to exalt and give strength to all.
Now, our God, we give you thanks,
and praise your glorious name.”

“But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. We are foreigners and strangers in your sight, as were all our ancestors. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope. Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you. I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things I have given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you” (1 Chronicles 29:10–17).

  1. Extraordinary generosity comes from the realization that everything we have comes from our great, powerful and majestic God. So few people today understand this, but David nailed it more than 3,000 years ago! It is this understanding of God as the Owner of all things that forms the basis for extraordinary giving…not just of our finances, but also our time and our talents.

Prayer: Father, I recognize that all of my finances, possessions, time and talents come from You alone. Help me to continually remember this! Show me how to hold loosely to all of these things, so that giving them up for Your use is a pleasure and a joy rather than something I dread or do out of guilt or a sense of “duty.” Help me to consider the amount of time I waste each day that could be utilized for Your purposes! Give me a passion for Your kingdom and ideas about how to use my discretionary time. And Lord, please give me wisdom and creativity to use the talents I have to bring honor and glory to You!

  1. Extraordinary leaders give generously by example from willingness and from the integrity of their hearts. King David had insight to know that he needed to lead the way. He could not simply ask others to give without demonstrating his own desire to be generous. David went above and beyond, freely out-giving everyone! His generosity was an encouragement to others.

Prayer: Father, I know I can never out-give You! Show me how to lead those at work/school/in my home/at church, etc. in generous giving whenever there is a kingdom task You direct Your people to step into. May I have the courage and privilege to be extravagant in whatever ways You direct my heart. Use me to help others see how Your people can make a difference in our culture simply by giving in extraordinary ways of their time, talents and finances!

  1. Extraordinary giving is birthed out of joy and a desire to please and worship God. The building of the temple was a joyous process, as the people of Israel knew it was to be a place where the Lord their God would come to dwell. From David’s extravagant worshiping heart came a prayer that God’s people, following his lead, would give beyond their means, their fears and their uncertainties. And give they did! As an act of worship, both rich and poor gave in abundance and with great joy to build the House of God in Jerusalem. They did not give under compulsion or coercion. According to David, generous giving tested their hearts spiritually and revealed “uprightness of heart.”

Prayer: Lord God, help me to become a joyous, worshipful giver in every way. Teach me to expand my heart to embrace Your kingdom with excitement and anticipation as You allow me to have the privilege of serving You as You have created me to be – a generous, talented creation with so much to offer others! When You look at me, may You see only “uprightness of heart” and continue to build me into a house of prayer – the temple that now exists in the world to glorify You and extend Your kingdom to the ends of the earth!

Here is a prayer that incorporates all three of these principles: “Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours.” Lord God, I believe with all my heart that everything I have comes from You. Help me to live as a good steward of all that comes from Your hand. May my generous giving of time, talent and finances bring pleasure to You. Teach me to give joyously, as an act of worship and gratitude. In the powerful Name above all names, Jesus Christ, my Lord, Amen!


This blog has been adapted from The Giving Church by David Butts.

© Harvest Prayer Ministries


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