Far too many Christians, it seems, view prayer as a chore, rather than the privilege God intended it to be. As a result,
a good number of believers do not practice the discipline of prayer as much or as often as they should.
Unfortunately, for them, they do this to their own detriment. They live beneath their privilege, in that they short-change themselves with regard to the blessings of God.
The March, 1993 edition of Turning Point contains a classic example from history which illustrates all too well the tragedy of living beneath one’s privilege. It is the story of the infamous Henrietta “Hettie” Green (whom the Guinness Book of World Records once called the “world’s greatest miser”).
It reads as follows:
It was 1916, and Hattie (sic) Green was dead. Hattie’s life is a sad demonstration of what it is like to be among the living dead. When Hattie died, her estate was valued at over $100 million; yet Hattie lived in poverty. She ate cold oatmeal because it cost money to heat it.
When her son’s leg became infected, Hattie wouldn’t get it treated until she could find a clinic that wouldn’t charge her. By then, her son’s leg had to be amputated. Hattie died arguing over the value of drinking skim milk. She had money to meet her every need, but she chose to live as if it didn’t exist.
How tragic it is to see people live beneath their privilege. How much more tragic to see Christians live beneath their privilege. I am not proclaiming a “Health and Wealth” gospel here. I do not mean to imply that God intends every single believer to be completely healthy and/or independently wealthy.
If this were the case, then the Apostle Paul surely would not have had a thorn in his flesh (2 Cor. 12:7-12); nor would the Son of God have lacked a pillow upon which to lay His head (Matthew 8:20). However, the Bible does proclaim that every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father in Heaven (James 1:17). He is certainly sufficient to meet our every need.
Sadly, though, far too many of us have not, because we ask not (Matthew 7:7). Or else we ask, but we do not seek; nor do we knock. And thereby, we speak volumes about our convictions over how much God really cares for His own.
What about you? Are you living beneath your privilege? You really don’t have to, you know. After all (according to Psalm 50:10), your Heavenly Father, Who knows your every need, owns the cattle on a thousand hills!
Note: The source for this story is: http://bible.org/illustration/hattie-green.