Monday, October 13, 2008

Not taking Daily Bread for granted

In everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. - PHILIPPIANS 4:6


One of the reasons Jesus taught us to pray "Give us today our daily bread" was because He wanted to build in us a barrier against ingratitude. It is so easy for us to take the daily blessings for granted. A good example of this would be the Children of Israel. God would every morning miraculously send them "manna" from heaven. Every day for forty years, G'od will take care of their daily needs. I'm sure they were very thankful when the manna first started. They would have died without the sustenance that the manna gave them. God miraculously provided for them daily. How did they thank Him?

Numbers 11:1-6 Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the LORD, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the LORD burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp. (2) When the people cried out to Moses, he prayed to the LORD and the fire died down. (3) So that place was called Taberah, because fire from the LORD had burned among them. (4) The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, "If only we had meat to eat! (5) We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. (6) But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!"

They gripe and complain about the miracle of provision that God was giving to them. Can you imagine that? The blessing of God became something to complain about instead of something to praise about. It became just something that they got used to. They would go out every day, and there was the manna. They stopped giving God praise for it, and when the praise stopped, the complaining began. It is like that today. The moment you stop praising God for your blessings, you will be tempted to complain and belly ache about your blessings, or lack thereof. We need to take a close look at our attitude. Is it an attitude of gratitude, or complaining?

Do you pray daily for your physical needs? Do you ask God daily for things like food, shelter, and the other physical necessities of life? I must confess that when I asked myself this question, I had to admit that I did not. Now I have made a decision to apply myself to this part of the Lord' s Prayer with greater sincerity.

Of course some people argue that because Jesus said: "Your Father knows the things you need before you ask Him" (Mt 6:8), then it is pointless to inform God of our physical needs because He knows them already. But the central value of prayer is that prayer is not something by which we inform God of our needs and thus influence Him to give things to us.

Prayer is designed to influence us; it is we who are in need of this kind of prayer, not God. Of course God knows what we are in need of, but He also knows that unless we come face to face daily with the fact that we are creatures of need, then we can soon develop a spirit of independence and withdraw ourselves from close contact with Him. Also, James 4:2 tells us that "you do not have because you do not ask."

Prayer, then, is something we need. God may not need to be told, but we need to tell Him. That's the point. And unless we grasp it, we can miss one of the primary purposes of prayer. And when we stop asking God for our "daily needs" we start taking them for granted, and we stop praising Him for them. Then…the complaining can move it.

Daily Prayer

O Father, thank You for showing me that prayer is not begging for blessings. It is becoming a blessing - to myself. I pray, not to change Your attitude towards me, but to change my attitude towards You. I ask you today to give me my daily bread, and I thank you so much for the daily blessings that you give me. Please forgive me for taking them for granted. Thank You, Father. Amen.

Pastor Rusty

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh how I needed this today!!!!! The enemy was letting me have it but this was just the confirmation I needed!!! PTL!!!!!!!!!
THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!
Tanya

Anonymous said...

thanks man and good word today
PB

mommascotta said...

I have been fussing about our retirement account that is tied to the stock market and how much money we have lost but... we have bread. God's hand is not shortened. We have always have had bread. He will provide. We have bread!
Momma Scotta

Anonymous said...

You hit the nail on the head,SO many times we go through the motions and get complacent and don't give it a second thought.I find myself praying for other people more than i do myself thinking that same thought he already knows.But like the old saying "It's the squeaky wheel that gets greased". Prasie God we have more access to him than just Wed.and Sunday.

Jennifer said...

Good stuff, Pastor Rusty! I pray for everyone but me and our needs the majority of the time. For me, it is like stopping in a day to do something for "me"...I feel selfish when so much other stuff needs taking care of. The same goes with me praying about our needs. I pray for our needs but not like I pray for the needs of others...because I feel that someone needs my prayer time more than we do. Thank you for putting things into the right perspective. If we don't take care of ourselves both physically and spiritually or we will be less effective in helping others.

Thanks again and I still love getting the text devotions...they start my day off right:)

Pastor Rusty said...

Tanya, I am so thankful that God used the blog to minister to you. He is so faithful!

Pastor Rusty said...

Amen Momma Scotta! I am so thankful for my daily bread!

Pastor Rusty said...

Jennnifer, thanks for posting, and I am glad the daily text devotion is ministering to you.

I am thankful that Jesus taught us to pray "give us this day our daily bread" because it isn't natural is it? We either spend our time praying for others, or take the daily bread for granted.