Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Praying for Daily Bread

Part 5 of Talking to God

Text: Matthew 6:11




“Give us this day our daily bread” (Matt. 6:11). 


God-Dependent

We want our children to learn how to be self-dependent. We don’t want them phoning home when they’re 30, asking how to boil water.

Self-dependence (to a certain degree) is a good thing, but we can never become totally self-dependent. In reality, we are all God-dependent. You might think you’re being self-dependent by growing your own food, but were did the seeds come from? Who caused the sun to shine and the rain to fall?

The fourth petition of the Lord’s Prayer is “Give us this day our daily bread.” When we ask God to give us our daily bread, we are acknowledging our dependence on him.


Needs, Not Greeds

Our “daily bread” stands for the necessities of life (e.g., food, water, clothing, shelter). We are to pray for our needs, not our greeds. Sometimes we don’t receive because we don’t ask: “You do not have, because you do not ask” (James 4:2). Sometimes we don’t receive because we ask for things we don’t need: “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly” (James 4:2-3). When we pray for something, we should ask ourselves, “If God granted my request, how would it bring glory to him?” 

Most people wish they were rich, but being rich isn’t always a good thing. “Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils” (1 Tim. 6:10). A large percentage of people who win the lottery end up miserable (e.g., divorce, bankruptcy, murder). “Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God” (Prov. 30:8-9). “If we have food and clothing, with these we will be content” (1 Tim. 6:8).


One Day at a Time

If we are depending on God to meet our needs, we shouldn’t be anxious. “Do not be anxious about tomorrow” (Matt. 6:34). Instead of being anxious, we are to trust God to meet our needs one day at a time. “Give us this day our daily bread.” When God delivered the Israelites, he gave them daily bread. They were only to collect enough manna for one day. God was teaching them to depend on him. But they didn’t learn the lesson. When it was time for them to enter the Promised Land they lacked faith in God. And they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years.

Jesus fasted for 40 days in the wilderness. Then Satan came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread” (Matt. 4:3). Jesus refused. While on earth, he lived as you and I are to live: trusting the Father. Jesus said to Satan, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). We are to value God’s word more than bread. “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things [the things mentioned in verse 25] will be added to you” (Matt.6:33).


Our Father

We can depend on God because he’s our Father in heaven (see Matt. 7:7-11). He “did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all” (Rom. 8:32). Someone who loves us that much can be trusted.