Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Praying for What We Should Instead of What We Want


When Jesus modeled how to pray for His disciples, He included prayers for daily provision. "Give us this day our daily bread" is a request for what we need on this particular day. 

It's not a request for tomorrow, or next week, or next year. It's only for today.

We, in the U.S., live in a land of abundance. In much of the country, there's plenty of water, electricity, and phone service. Even internet access is available almost everywhere. 

We're accustomed to having our needs (and wants) met on a routine basis. There may not be enough money in every budget to purchase what we need, but there's no shortage of the necessities. 

In our resource-rich land, we assume that all the resources will always be here, but nothing is guaranteed. Utilities could be swept away with a single storm. One nation-wide drought could cause food prices to soar completely out of our reach. It could cause water supplies to dwindle to critical levels.

I've turned on the faucet to find only a drop or two of water before. It's not a good feeling. After the ice storm of 1994, I spent more than two weeks without running water or electricity. I know how quickly our daily needs can become daily impossibilities.


For the most part, though, we're not accustomed to depending on God. By depending I mean the utter-lack-of-something-unless-God-provides-it kind of dependence. 

I don't really want to ask for the basics every day. I'd rather pray one big pray and get it done so I can have time for "gimme" prayers. Wouldn't you? 

Praying this particular "give us" prayer isn't a "gimme" prayer at all. It's not asking for the things we want. It's asking for what we need, and for one day at a time.

There's hidden benefit in the "daily bread" prayer. It's reminds us of the difference between what we want and what we need. It turns our focus and trims our requests. Praying for needs and not wants limits our greed and covetousness and simplifies our desires. It sows seeds of gratitude in our heart. 

This morning, I'm asking for my needs for this day... wisdom, direction, volunteers, provision, the ability to learn more of the Arabic I've been assigned. I'm thanking God for those needs I can see are already met... electricity, clean water, appliances, a roof over my head, health, friends, freedom to worship and the ability to understand the Scriptures, and so many more blessings.

Why not join me? Ask for today's needs, and leave the wants for another day. Be sure to thank God for all He's supplied.

"Give us this day our daily bread..." Matthew 6:11 nasb
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