JESUS TEACHES US TO PRAY
Mt. 6:11 Give us today our daily bread
Our third request is for daily bread. Please note that Jesus leads us to pray much differently than most of us have learned to pray. Our tendencies are to pray for our needs and concerns immediately. Jesus doesn’t say we should not pray for our needs. But our request for daily bread is made only after we’ve rejoiced in the Person of God – the Lord is our Father; only after we’ve thought about His place in heaven; only after we’ve focused our minds on His purity or holiness; only after we’ve asked Him for His plan – His kingdom to come – and His Purpose – His will to be done. Only then, after all of the above, does Jesus tell us to pray for provision – our daily bread.
What a blessing it is to know that that the Lord of Lords and King of Kings is concerned about the needs of His children! As we’re told in 1 Peter 5:7:
1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Don’t ever be shy about asking the Lord to supply your needs. He cares for you. BUT, take a minute and study the following verses to understand the Lord’s perspective regarding our daily bread.
First, our provision, our daily bread, is not to be our highest priority:
Matthew 4:4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”
John 4:34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.
John 6:57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever.”
Matthew 6:19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Second, the Lord knows about everything we need:
Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? …Matthew 6:31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
After reading the passages above, which priority in life is more important than our daily bread?
Matthew 6:33 sums it up well:
Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Ah, so if we keep our relationship/connection to the Lord our first and highest priority, the Lord promises that we will not have to worry. He will provide. Notice we are not told we won’t have to work. No, we’re told we don’t have to worry. Notice as well we’re not told we will be given whatever we want. We’re told the Lord will provide all of our needs.
When we think about what’s important in our lives, a lot of us get swallowed up by our schedules. “I have to get the kids to school.” “I have to go to work.” “I have to cook dinner.” “I have to clean the house.” “I have to work out.” So many things cry for our attention each and every day that, if we’re not careful, we can find ourselves missing the most important priority: our time alone with Jesus.
His promise is to add all the necessities of life to our lives if we seek Him and His righteousness first. When the Lord of the universe makes a promise, it is not like a promise between two people. He can’t lie. He never deceives. His declared intention is to meet our needs if we seek Him first.
What’s the point? Our prayer lives accomplish much more than we think. Seeking the Lord with all our heart and soul opens the floodgates of the Lord’s care into our lives. We pray, “give us this day our daily bread,” but all the while the Lord is aware of our circumstances and prepared to deliver all that we need. We pray. We trust. We wait on Him. When Jesus is our highest priority in life, He provides all of our needs!
How does the Lord provide? Scripture has several examples of the Lord providing miraculously:
Psalm 78:24 he rained down manna for the people to eat, he gave them the grain of heaven.
2 Kings 4:5 She left him and afterward shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. (you’ll have to read this whole story to get the full flavor of this miracle!)
Matthew 17:27 “But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”
Scripture also has a lot to say about work. Jesus pointed out above, “Look at the birds of the air.” No robin waits for the worm to crawl up the tree and jump into its nest. The robin gets up and goes looking for the worm. Then the Lord feeds the robin by providing the worm. So it is that you and I work and the Lord provides:
Deuteronomy 2:7 The LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. …
Deuteronomy 8:17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.
Proverbs 13:4 The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.
2 Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”
TRUE or FALSE (circle the correct answer)
- Jesus promises to give us whatever we want. True False
- We should always pray for what we need first in case God forgets. True False
- Our first priority is to put food on the table. True False
- God provides. We can sit on the couch until His provision comes. True False
- Seeking God first through prayer opens the door to His provision True False
Please call the person helping you through this 90-day journey and discuss how you feel since you’ve established your daily time alone with God. Let him or her know what is happening in your heart as you intentionally pursue your relationship with Jesus.