The Lord’s Prayer – Give us this Day our Daily Bread

We were flipping channels a few months ago and came across the “Hoarders” TV show. Hearing stories of lives so crammed full with physical and emotional “junk” is eye-opening and very sad.

It’s easy to encounter situations like these and think that they don’t apply to our lives.  It seems so extreme but I believe there is a little bit of the “hoarder” in each of us.  Perhaps this is one of the reasons Jesus teaches us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread”.  He asks us to live and operate in a different way; we are to trust God to supply that which we need for each day and not hang on so tightly to everything else.

This is a challenge, isn’t it?  Look what happens the first time the Israelites were given daily bread:

“When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor.  When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” … Moses said to them “It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat… Each one is to gather as much as he needs … No one is to keep any of it until morning.”

However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.” (Exodus 16:14-20)

Can you see yourselves in this story?  How many times do we thank God for providing what we need, and then hoard it because we’re just not sure if He will come through the next time?  Our natural tendency is to build up buffers of stuff – food, money or other possessions – as protection against ever being in need.  We need long-term training to be comfortable with daily bread; I don’t think it comes naturally.

As we are the process of learning this, reminders are very valuable.  At the Gospel Coalition conference last weekend, Tim Keller quoted John Newton saying, “Everything is needful that He sends; nothing can be needful that He withholds.”

Think on those words for a while.  Can we trust God to supply us with everything that is “needful” to our physical, mental and emotional well-being, and not pine over the things He is withholding?

“… the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own”.  Matthew 6:32-34

If we seek Him first, we will gain what we need to live.

“Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”  “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.” Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:32-35

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread…

Blessings on you as you learn to rely on Him,

 

Kristal Toews

Director of Women’s Ministries

 

The Lord’s Prayer – Thy Will Be Done

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]s we study the Lord’s prayer we move beyond “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name” to “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…”

There are many times when I have stopped there and wrestled with the idea of praying for God’s Kingdom to come and His will to be done through or in a specific situation.  Can you relate?

I’ve stumbled on these words because of selfishness, fear, rebellion, anger, frustration and likely other emotions that I’m not identifying at the moment.  These words have caused me to examine my heart and to recognize that, deep down, I usually want my will to be done and cannot fathom accepting an alternative.

When we encounter sickness, death, relational strain or other situations which force us to face the transitory, unpredictable nature of life we cry out to God to solve the situation and, in doing so, we uncover a very understandable but complicated reality – deep down we believe that we know what is best for us and for those around us and, deep down,  our default is to distrust God.

This battle isn’t new. Adam and Eve allowed Satan to convince them that God wasn’t trustworthy.  He planted seeds of doubt, insinuating that God didn’t have their best in mind and that He wished to withhold good things from them.  Ever since, we have asked the same questions.  Is it safe to give ourselves over to the care of God and to submit our desires to His will?

That is a question I won’t attempt to answer quickly, but I will share two things which are helping me along the journey.

First – the process of getting to know God.  The more I read, meditate on, and pray through His word, the more I am learning to rest in His will. As I think on the ways he talks to and about people, the truth that He is FOR us is beginning to take deeper root within me.  He will not give us everything we ask for, but he is FOR us nevertheless.  His will can be trusted.  He will ultimately bring about good.

Second – experiencing the comfort available in surrender.  When my kids were young and had temper tantrums over the injustices of life, I was powerless to comfort them as long as they persisted on kicking and screaming and venting their frustrations.  When they were worn out or too tired to fight, I could step in and help them figure out how to cope.  I think it’s the same for God.  He can provide comfort, hope and perspective in the midst of a difficult situation once we stop fighting against Him, and allow ourselves to rest in His care.

If you are struggling with submitting to God’s will and wondering if God is FOR you, spend some time reading through Jesus’ final words to his disciples in John 15 & 16 and his final prayer for them in John 17.

Here are some excerpts: “So … you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice and no one will take your joy from you.  In that day you will ask nothing of me” (16:22-23)

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world (16:33)

When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father the hour has come …While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost…. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one… Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth’’ (John 17:1, 2-17)

If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31

Blessings on you as you seek to pray for His will,

Kristal Toews
Director of Women’s Ministry.