7And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9Pray the like this: . . . “11Give us this day our daily bread. . .” —matthew 6:7-7, 11
Here’s a good question we ought to be asking: Is my prayer practical?
Matthew 6:11 says, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Now that’s more than a prayer for food. The word bread in Scripture represents basic needs. So when you pray, “Give us this day our daily bread,” your prayer is practical.
Here are four practical items we can pray for:
- First, we can pray for adequate income for every household—not so our wants will be met; but so our needs will be met. Later in Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus tells us the basic needs are not something we should be worried about. Now it might not be God’s will for you to have that exact job that you’re thinking about, but it is God’s will for you to have a job. And it is God’s will for your household needs to be met. You should pray boldly about that. People who get involved in practical, deliberate prayers see miracles week after week. Their submission to God puts them in the perfect place to watch God work.
- Second, we can pray for physical health. God has promised that He is the God who heals. Healing is for today. You can pray confidently for physical health. If God has a different plan, He can reveal that to you.
- Third, we can pray for emotional health. People are depressed and filled with anxiety and bitterness and fear and apathy. We turn to God: “God, I need my daily bread. I need to be able to handle things. I need to know I’m not going to lose it. I need You to calm the waters in my life, God, and make me a stable person.” You can pray for that with confidence.
- And lastly, we pray for spiritual health. We can pray for the salvation of loved ones. We know that, “God is not willing that any should perish . . .” (2 Peter 3:9). We can call out to God and ask Him to bring children back home, back to Him. We can ask Him to save our spouse or our daughter-in-law. These things are all part of daily bread.
Is my prayer practical?
- What are my top requests in each of the four areas referred to in this devotion?
- Am I tracking God’s answers?
Father in heaven, thank You for the personal, practical and intimate nature of prayer. Thank You for letting me come as a child and place my needs before You in absolute trust that You listen even though You already know, and You answer according to Your perfect will. Continue to guide me into boldly trusting You in new ways in my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.