September 17, 2014 | by: 0 Comments|
In October I have the privilege of preaching at a Sunday prayer gathering of a handful of Southern Baptist churches here in Northern Virginia. I have been asked to preach on the fourth petition of the Lord’s Prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread.” During my time with the Lord this morning, I spent some time reflecting on this petition, and I thought that I’d share one of those reflections with you. I hope that they encourage you to petition our Father in prayer today for every mercy that you need.
“Give us this day our daily bread.”
This is obviously a petition which reveals our need, and it is a petition which concerns our basic needs. Asking for daily bread is like asking for daily water. What is so striking about this petition is that we have to ask. Too often we assume and presume upon God’s kindness, and in some ways we are not necessarily wrong for doing so. As this prayer tells us, God is “Our Father,” and as our Father he cares about our most basic needs. Jesus tells us in Luke’s gospel that we are not to be anxious about our lives, what we will eat, nor about our bodies, or what we will put on. For life is more than food and the body is more than clothing. Jesus goes on to say in Luke 12:24, “Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!” Jesus told his disciples and us in Luke 12 that we are not to be anxious about what we will eat, and yet here in Matthew 6 Jesus teaches his disciples and us that we are to ask for food.
The elimination of our anxiety does not eliminate our need to ask. God has ordained and revealed that he is pleased to work through the prayerful petitions of his people. We need to ask, in part because it is through our asking that God has ordained that he will give. And there is a reason why Jesus teaches us that we are to ask God to give. That is because every good and perfect gift comes from his hand. Even the most common gifts, such as bread, come from his hand. As Thomas Watson said, “All we have is from the hand of God’s royal bounty; we have nothing but what he gives us out of his storehouse; we cannot have one bit of bread but from God…That is a humbling consideration…We are to seek every mercy from God by prayer.”
Our God is good. He loves us and cares for us, so let us not be anxious. Our God is generous. He graciously and generously gives everything that we need for life and godliness, so let us ask.
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