Are Your Prayers Practical?
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Give us this day our daily bread. —Matthew 6:11
This is such a straightforward line in the Lord’s Prayer: Give us this day our daily bread. In the context of Jesus’ pattern, that’s more than a request for food. Our daily bread represents all the basics we require. We are admitting we need God’s supply each day. Jesus includes in His outline for prayer the essential but mundane details of everyday living—practical matters that can distract us if we don’t remember God cares about those things.
Here are four essential needs covered by “daily bread”:
- Spiritual health. We can pray for the salvation of loved ones. We know God is “not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). So you can call out to God to bring wandering children back home to Him. You can ask Him to save your spouse and rescue your daughter-in-law. You can call out to God for these things with assurance.
- Physical health. God doesn’t promise health to everyone. But He has said He is the God who heals. He has never stopped being all that He is. So healing is for today. You can pray confidently for physical health. If God has a different plan, He can reveal it to you. And no matter what the outcome, He will be with you.
- Emotional health. We all have basic emotional needs. There is so much lack of wellness around us today. People are depressed and filled with anxiety, bitterness, fear, and apathy. “Father, I need my daily bread of emotional sustenance. I long to be able to handle things. I need to know I’m not going to lose it. Please give me the peace of knowing I’m going to be okay. I need You to calm the waters in my life and make me a stable person. In Jesus’ name.” You can pray for emotional health with confidence.
- Financial Health. We can pray for adequate income for every household—not so our wants will be met, but so our needs will be met. When we’re praying about financial needs, we know we’re praying according to God’s will because Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:25-34 that all of our basic needs will be met. Don’t worry or be concerned about what you will eat, drink, or wear (v.31). You don’t have to pray, “Lord, meet my basic needs if it’s Your will.” We know it is His will. It might not be God’s will for you to have the exact job you’re thinking about, but it is God’s will for you to have a job. It is God’s will for the needs in your house to be met. And you can pray boldly with those needs in mind.
These matters are all part of daily bread. There is so much ground we can cover in the category of bringing our needs before God.
Right now, we are anticipating great miracles to come out of our church-wide month of prayer. I trust you have found the same is true in your church. God moves when His people gather to pray. People find work, problems get resolved, and awesome things happen. We are asking God to do it. And He waits to do it during those times so we will all know it was because we prayed and the results were connected to Him.
When you pray through the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) below, pause after “give us this day our daily bread,” and mention several specific personal needs. Be assured you are loved and God your Father is listening.
- What practical matters are part of your regular prayer times?
- In what ways has God recently been faithful regarding your basic needs?
Lord, help me think through the implications of each line of Jesus’ prayer pattern: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” I bring You these matters in Jesus’ name, amen.
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