Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Prayer series #9: Our Daily Bread

We’ve dealt with the first three requests in the Lord’s Prayer, requests that concern God’s interests and glory: that His name be hallowed, that His Kingdom come to earth and that His will be done on earth, including, in our own lives as Christians.

Now we come to the requests that we are prone to put first in our lives: the need for daily bread, the need for forgiveness, protection from temptation, and our deliverance from evil.

Note their order. It’s not that we are to pray for God’s concerns first so that we can “get to the good stuff” and pray for all the things we want. For a small, immature child Christmas is all about “What I am going to get!” As we grow in love and spiritual maturity, Christmas becomes far more a matter of what we are going to give others. So as we become spiritually mature in Christ, our desire for God’s glory far overshadows and overpowers our own desires. We live only for God’s glory. His glory becomes the theme and purpose of our life; not our glory. Psalm 37:4-5 Proverbs 3:5-6. The personal stuff we desire is seen as vanity. Life is empty and meaningless if  Christ is not our life. Psalm 137:5-6

Note the order of the personal needs for which we are to pray.
1. Daily bread
2. Forgiveness of sins
3. Protection in temptation
4. Deliverance from evil.
Note that the need for bread comes first. Why?

Why physical needs first?
Because we live in physical bodies, physical needs must come first. I MUST have my necessary food and water to eat and drink and I must have my necessary air to breathe; otherwise I am in no condition to concern myself with spiritual needs. If I am to worship God and serve Him, I MUST have my food and drink and I MUST have my necessary sleep at night. So our loving and wise God meets our physical needs first, so that we can give attention to our spiritual needs.

At this time, God has gotten me through 73 years. He has graciously met every need of my life. I have never suffered the loss of food or drink. He has met every physical need of my life, including the money I need to pay my bills. If He can get me through 73 years, I have confidence to believe He can take care of me through whatever time I have left on this earth.

Why pray for just Bread?
The term bread here is a generic, signifying all the necessities of life; including our necessary food, clothing and housing. We are taught to pray for our necessities and not for luxuries. Most of us here in America live in luxury by the standards of the rest of the world. Let us be thankful for whatever God gives us or enables us to afford. It’s all of His grace and mercy. Lamentations 3:22-24

Is it not selfish of us to be praying for more than the necessities of life? Would it not be better for us to ask God to lead us in using the extra resources He provides us for helping to meet the needs of others? Read and consider Isaiah 58 and Psalm 41:1-3

Thank God for the necessary food He provides us and for the nourishment, health and strength it provides us.

Learn to pray the following balanced request for neither riches or poverty. Proverbs 30:8-9 Learn to be content with what you have. I Timothy 6:8-9.

The blessings of poverty
I am absolutely honest and sincere when I affirm that I am so thankful that God blessed my wife and me with poverty in the early years of our marriage. I also pity young couples starting off their lives together who are able to afford every material thing their hearts desire; or worse, buying everything they desire on credit and starting out married life in debt up to their ears. Why am I thankful for starting out in poverty?

Lamentations 3:26-27 teaches us that “it is good for a young man to bear the yoke in his youth.” That is, it is good for a young man and his wife to bear heavy burdens in their youth. It is good to struggle to pay your bills, to cut your grocery shopping to the bare essentials.

For one thing you learn to rely on God for all your needs.

You learn to appreciate what you have.

You learn to distinguish between needs and unnecessary cravings.

You quickly learn not to waste anything. When you are poor you don’t fill your plate with food and then throw half of it in the garbage.

Because we learned these lessons as a young couple and have lived by them through the years, today we are better off financially than we would have been had we not learned those lessons. One of the secrets of financial success is not so much finding increased income, but to cut the waste and all unnecessary spending. I have been the bread-winner in our family, but my wife has been just as much a part of our financial success because she has been extremely careful in the spending by searching out and finding the best bargains.

Why are we to pray for daily bread when we already have a full pantry and a full freezer?

First, note that we are not to pray, “Give ME my daily bread; rather give US
our daily bread. When we pray, let us not just consider our own needs, but the needs of others.

Also consider that although today our cupboard is full, we could be wiped out over night. As Israel in the wilderness learned to trust God for one day at a time, so we need to learn to trust Him daily. Though we may be well off and lack nothing, sometimes God has to remind us to trust Him daily for our needs. Proverbs 27:1 and Matthew 6:34 warn us to learn to trust Him for one day at a time.

Remember, GOD is our source of supply, not some rich uncle or a good job or excellent investments. Learn to trust God; not the secondary causes. Be grateful to Him for His faithfulness to you. It is God who gives us the ability to prosper. Be concerned with the needs of others. Ask God for His blessing on you so that you can be a blessing to others.

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April 20, 2006 - Posted by | Prayer Series

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