I will never forget preparations for my first three day prayer retreat in the Ozark Mountains. My intentions were to take minimal provisions, but it ended up looking like preparations for weeks atop Mount Kilimanjaro. It must be human nature for most of us to want more than we actually need.
When Jesus gave the model for the disciples to pray for daily bread, it was for the purpose of what is needed to fulfill His will.
He can supply anything needed to facilitate His plans regardless of the economic situations governing our families or nations. He has sufficient resources to accomplish everything He desires and calls us to participate with Him in accomplishing them. There are no shortages, unbalanced budgets, or debt crises in His Kingdom. His coffers are inexhaustible. We bear the weight of seeking and obeying His will, and that is the place where we often experience unmerited favor and miraculous side of His ability to provide for us supernaturally.
While there are no limitations as to what He can do or provide, we must also be careful to remember God, with His inexhaustible qualities and abilities, is in no way indebted or bound to fulfill our personal whims, visions, or ideas. He is a loving, generous Father who blesses His children when and how He wants. However, we should never think He is available to supply whatever we ask as though we were redeeming some sort of divine gift certificate when we recite a list of handpicked Bible passages. We owe Him our lives. He saved us from certain destruction, and we are His servants. Not the other way around.
Who then beyond God can know what we actually need to fulfill His will? Since He knows what we need better than we do ourselves, how could “Give us this day our daily bread” mean anything else except to request provision for us to fulfill the Father’s heart for His creation? Could it be interpreted this way? Father please supply my needs for today so that I am able to move forward with the mission and message of Your kingdom.
Our minds have been saturated with continuous marketing propaganda to condition us to follow a path of personal satisfaction and prominence. This mindset has unfortunately infiltrated many of those regularly attending church. Is it possible our context for provision has become a little skewed? Compared to most of the world’s living standards, many Americans live like royalty particularly when compared to the majority of the world. This is not an indictment or jab at anyone who enjoys the abundance of good things; merely a comment or suggestion for all of us to reconsider just what is really needed when it comes to material things. To occasionally stop to reflect and assess how much is enough and look to Scripture and ask God if our particular lifestyle has become excessive?
More to come…
(The “Living the Lord’s Prayer” blog series is based on Craig’s book, The Vigil, available at village2village.co store. Proceeds support missions work around the world)