God Answers Tithing Prayer
By Jerry Russell, Washington Conference vice president for finance
The Washington Conference financial staff learned awhile back about the importance of praying with purpose and specificity for things that were on our hearts. This past year, we prayed for a five percent annual tithe gain.
This seemed like an impossible goal to us because we had 53 Sabbaths in 2016 and 52 Sabbaths in 2017. You can usually count on a loss in that situation and are grateful for a breakeven year.
God bigger plans for us.
God answered our prayers with a tithe gain of 4.97 percent for 2017. This was celebrated with conference office staff, committees, and our pastor’s meetings. We celebrated: God is good and the tithe gain is close enough that we can round up to 5 percent in conversations. This was an exciting time and we praised Him for His goodness and provision.
Yet I personally questioned why would God bring us right to the threshold and not let us cross it with a 5 percent gain. My questions were always with a profound amount of gratitude for the 4.97 percent, but I still wondered why He wouldn’t have given us just another $6,000 to make up the 0.03 percent difference.
If I drop the story right there, it’s still a really good story. God is good! He has promised to provide and has done so incredibly well.
But God had a different story.
Craig Carr, Washington Conference vice president for administration, shared that he’d had a dream that I would find the money to make our tithing goal.
As I left the office one day, a ministry director stopped me just before I got out the door and informed me that one of his church groups still needed to remit about $10,000 in tithe for December.
Of course we have closed our financial reporting for 2017 and the 4.97 percent is our official report, but hearing this, I realized that God had given us what we asked for, and then a little more. With the additional $10,000, we unofficially have a gain of 5.01 percent.
It’s so much fun to be a firsthand witness as to what God is doing!