“Give us today our daily bread.” (Matthew 6:11)
In spite of what all those TV preachers want to tell us, Jesus’ answer to the disciples’ question “how should we pray?” did not include naming or claiming one single XBox or SUV or even a nice steak. “Please give me enough food for today.” That’s the only request for anything physical. It’s like he’s speaking a foreign language. If I didn’t know where next month’s food was coming from, I’d be on my knees asking God for help. I clearly have different financial and security goals for my life than Jesus’ prayer suggests.
In another passage, he tells his followers not to worry about food and clothes. God provides for the birds and flowers, he said; he will provide for you. I love these lyrics from Rich Mullins’ song “Hard”:
Well, His eye’s on the sparrow
And the lilies of the field I’ve heard
And He will watch over you and He will watch over me
So we can dress like flowers and eat like birds
I don’t believe it’s wrong to ask God for anything if I’m willing to let him tell me “no” when that thing is not his best for me. But what percentage of my praying is asking for things that go way beyond “enough food for today.”
Think: What percentage of your praying involves asking for things or security or other “wants”? How does that percentage compare with the percentage of requests for material things in Jesus’ prayer?
Pray: Ask God to help you to be thankful for all the good gifts he’s blessed you with. Ask him to help you need him more than any of them. And then ask him to help you know how much to pray for your “wants.”
Do: Calculate how many days worth of food you have in your house right now.Tweet