Monday, July 19, 2010

Teach Us to Pray - Our Daily Bread - My Article in the Southside Messenger

Spirit & Truth # 187

“Teach Us to Pray: Our Daily Bread”

By Rev. Greg Smith

When Jesus’ disciples asked Him, “Lord, teach us to pray,” He gave them The Lord’s Prayer[i], both a prayer that can be recited verbatim and an outline for a longer period of prayer. He taught them to begin with a time of praise (Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name), followed by a real desire to seek God’s kingdom and will in our lives (Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven). Only after seeking God and His kingdom first should we approach the Father to ask Him for the things we need. In the Lord’s Prayer, He taught us to ask, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Jesus also said, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”[ii]

God wants us to ask for those things we need, but He wants us to want Him more. When you want a relationship with God more than you want all these things, you’ll get what you want most, with all the other things thrown in. When you want all the other things most, you won’t get either them or God. Let’s seek God first in prayer, and then “let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”[iii]

God wants to meet your needs. It’s not selfish to ask Him to care for you, but you might want to pray for the needs of others first. I suggest using the word “JOY” as a guide: Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last. This keeps your prayers in proper perspective.

I came across a story that I wanted to share with you. I hope it reminds you that God cares for your every need.

Things looked bleak for the children of George Muller's orphanage at Ashley Downs in England. It was time for breakfast, and there was no food. A small girl whose father was a close friend of Muller was visiting in the home. Muller took her hand and said, "Come and see what our Father will do." In the dining room, long tables were set with empty plates and empty mugs. Not only was there no food in the kitchen, but there was no money in the home's account. Muller prayed, "Dear Father, we thank Thee for what Thou art going to give us to eat." Immediately, they heard a knock at the door. When they opened it, there stood the local baker. "Mr. Muller," he said, "I couldn't sleep last night. Somehow I felt you had no bread for breakfast, so I got up at 2 o'clock and baked fresh bread. Here it is." Muller thanked him and gave praise to God. Soon, a second knock was heard. It was the milkman. His cart had broken down in front of the orphanage. He said he would like to give the children the milk so he could empty the cart and repair it.[iv]

[i] Matthew 6:9-13 KJV

[ii] Matthew 6:33 NIV

[iii] Hebrews 4:16 NIV

[iv] Source Unknown

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