Litany for Money: A Deeper Economy

I first read the book _Deep Economy_ by Bill McKibben, sometime around 2008. It and its title have stuck with me, and spurred me on to reading several other books about Creation care and financial stewardship. For my husband and I, stewardship is a deep idea, one we value highly. We have existed in scarcity and in relative abundance. We have made wise decisions and foolish ones. We have been complicit and imperfect and fearful and hesitant and faithful and brave.

I think that in dealing with money we would do well to remember the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25, as well as the Parables of the Treasure and the Pearl in Matthew 6. Not to mention the fact that, as Dave Ramsey is fond of pointing out, in the four gospels Jesus talked about money almost as much as he talked about the Kingdom of God. Whether we currently see the world from a position of scarcity or from abundance, money and stewardship seem worth praying about. Thus I give you this rather ponderous but well-meaning litany.

You created humanity, and humanity exists in an economy based on money.

We acknowledge that money profoundly affects our lives.
We acknowledge that dealing with money requires our attention and effort.
We acknowledge that the love of money is a root of evil.
We acknowledge our temptation toward greed.
We acknowledge that money and hard work are linked.
We acknowledge that money and privilege are linked.
We acknowledge that poverty is an ongoing problem, and that Your heart is for the poor.

We confess our love of money.
We confess our equating money with power and status.
We confess our squandering of resources.
We confess our hesitance to risk, to invest, and to have faith.
We confess our obsession with possessions.
We confess our worry when needs arise.
We confess our jealousy of the riches of others.

Give us our daily bread.
Give us enough, but not too much.
Give us treasure that moth and rust do not destroy.
Give us riches of life, relationships, and joy.
Give us wisdom to handle money in ways that reflect Your character.

Help us to steward well that which You choose to give us authority over.
Help us to have healthy attitudes towards money, to neither disregard nor idolize it.
Help us to use our money for Your kingdom work.
Help us to care for the needy, the orphan, and the lonely.
Help us to be generous, as You have been generous towards us.
Help us to be disciplined and work hard, and be rewarded accordingly.
Help us to save for times of need, and for pleasure.
Help us to trust in Your care and provision.

May we, Your children, exist in a deeper economy;
     not an economy based on money or power, but on grace.
May we live, not from scarcity, but from the abundance of Your kingdom.