This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today 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 the evil one for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. (Matthew 6:9-13)
The Lord’s Prayer, one of the best known passages of scripture. Apart from Psalm 23 and John 3:16, I would say this is the most quoted and recited passage in the scriptures. It transcends religious lines and makes its way into even the most secular of meetings. Yet hidden away in this great prayer is a mighty truth that is often overlooked.
My life lately has been filled with trying to make a budget for a new ministry and find donors to support it. Our family functions as missionaries where financial resources are concerned. While most days my husband and I can say we fully trust God to provide our needs, sometimes doubt creeps in and you start to worry. We had one of said days just last week. As a matter of a fact, the whole week was inundated with us trying to figure things out. Where was the money going to come from? How could we work around the financial wall we thought was in front of us? What about retirement? College for the kids? Home repairs and improvements? This discussion went on and on.
As I was praying about this struggle, I remembered a nugget of truth tucked inside this prayer. Give us today our daily bread. (Emphasis mine) God wasn’t going to give us a 15 year plan that day. He wasn’t going to show us how our ministry was going to be fully funded for this year or the next five. He wasn’t going to show us a formula to be able to save enough for retirement, college or other needs and wants. He was going to give us what we needed each day. Much like the Israelites could only gather manna in the desert, enough for each day, God instructs us to pray for to have him give us our daily bread.
UFF! I don’t like that! I’m a planner by nature. Type A to the hilt. Every personality test I’ve ever taken places planner, administrator, organizer or the like at the top of my list. “So God you really want me to pray just enough for this day? Really?” As I’ve pondered the Israelite story I think it comes back to training them in faith. 40 years it took them. Every day only gathering enough for that day, (minus the Sabbath day) if they kept more then they needed it rotted, was filled with maggots and smelled horribly….true story. (Exodus 16) But remember why they were wandering there anyway? They didn’t trust God when he said to enter the Promised Land. The fear of the unknown kept them from trusting the Lord to provide a way. Usher in a 40 year walk in the desert. Their only food? You got it, provided each day no more no less. What a lesson.
So back to me, us really if you’ve ever worried about the future, do you think maybe God is training us in faith when he asks us to depend on him to provide just our daily needs, not give us a 15 year plan. For planner like me it takes a daily decision of saying, “Ok God you got this, I trust you for today.” I just hope I can learn from history and avoid the 40 year walk!
Lord, I pray for those struggling with trusting you to provide. Sometimes you only provide our daily needs and for planners and organizers that sends us into a frenzy! Move in hearts and bring peace and trust that only you can bring. Help us trust you more each day in the walk of faith training called the Christian life. Amen