Giving to Get?
Any time I give, I expect a blessing to return. It is a law that we find in Scripture. It is a promise of Jesus.
But you know what? That is not my main motivation for giving. And that should not be our heart for giving. Jesus says in Luke 6:32-38,
"But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you."
What is the heart of this whole thing? Jesus said, "Don't love just to get love back; don't do good just so that good might be done back to you; don't lend just hoping to get something back."
He makes it clear that if you do those things for the right motivation, it will come back to you. Your reward will be great.
Do not give with the motivation of just getting something back. Non-Christians have that motivation! How does that set you apart from them? Give out of a higher motivation.
Prayer is communication with God. It is speaking, and it is also listening. And like all communication, prayer is a skill that can and should be improved.