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Seeking Things Above


If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (Col 3:1)

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2008-08-21

The Lord's Prayer - Daily Bread


Matthew 6:11 (ESV)
11 Give us this day our daily bread,

This part of the prayer lesson is often difficult for me.  We're not taught by this world to just ask for what we need today.  What about all my inevitable future needs, like medical expenses, retirement savings, and college tuition for my four children?  How can I only be concerned about just today with all of tomorrow crashing down on me?

Clearly, one of the principles Jesus is teaching His disciples is to focus on today and not to worry about tomorrow.  He makes this point more directly just a few verses further down.

Matthew 6:34 (ESV)
34 "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

The other difficulty I have with this lesson however, is the principle of total dependency on God.  I'm often not too concerned about my basic needs today.  Today I have a full pantry and refrigerator, I have a job, and I know I have a safe place to sleep tonight.  As I come to the Father with my needs, what I need just to survive is not on my mind.

Sure, there may be times where that day is in crisis.  However, once the crises passes, I quickly fall into a self-sufficient mind set.  It's this self-sufficient mind set that causes a majority of my prayer life problems.  In fact, it not only hinders my prayers when I pray, it often leads me to not pray at all.

I know that the very air I breathe each day is a gift from God.  I know that anything but total dependency on Him for my daily spiritual, mental,  and physical needs is idolatry.  I know that depending on myself and the circumstances around me is building my house on sand.  I just need to get that knowledge from my brain to be ingrained in my heart.

Deuteronomy 6:4-6 (ESV)
4 "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.

I can't get this knowledge from my head to my heart on my own.   This is why we need to pray for our daily bread.  Not only for our daily physical needs, but for our daily  Bread of Life.

John 6:35 (ESV)
35 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.

We have the promise, that if we pray for this Bread, our Father will move His word from our head to our heart.

Luke 11:13 (ESV)
13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

5 comments:

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

I understand your point Tony. You are in America where life is easier and more pleasant. But in third world countries like ours, praying for our daily bread is a grim reality. The thing is, God helps those who help themselves. We cannot just look to heaven and wait for manna to come raining down. We have to do our part. Remember, God said in Genesis that by the sweat of our brows so shall man live. God just wants us to trust Him just like children who trust their parents. We know that God will provide for all our needs, He just wants us to pray to Him for those needs. I agree with you that if we are in our comfort zone and are well secured in the basic necessities of life, chances are, we may neglect to pray to God for our daily needs. But Paul said, pray unceasingly. We can pray not only for our own needs but for the needs of the souls put in our hearts by the Holy Spirit as our burdens. Thanks for the enlightening post. God bless you and your family always.

Tony said...

Mel -

Thanks for your comment. What a great reminder to pray for the needs of others. The prayer does say, give "us" this day "our" daily bread.

Grace and Peace brother.

Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

You are very honest to admit this. It's easy for me to take things for granted too, but as I give thanks to God each day it's my way of acknowledging that all I have comes from Him and belongs to him.

God knows we have issues and concerns but I Peter 5:8 says "casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Tony said...

Karen -

Thanks...A friend the other day mentioned that we have to work especially hard to teach our kids to not take things for granted as in this country, our children are blessed prosperity than can be a curse if not appreciated and used for the benefit of others.

Grace and Peace to you and Gerard. You all sound like a well grounded spiritual couple. I appreciate your visits.

Larry and Jennifer Darnell said...

Tony,

I have taught my kids to say the simple prayer before meals that includes this phrase "Give us this day our daily bread"

I often wonder if they really know what that means.

Thanks for the challenge...I will have to follow up with them to see if they know what it really means.

Larry

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