Prayer, A Matter of Asking

Luke 11:3-4

3 Give us our food day by day.

4 And forgive us our sins-- just as we forgive those who have sinned against us. And don't let us yield to temptation." (NLT) 

This message was preached November 17, 2002 at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at toulonbaptist.com  

A minister stopped at Johnnie's house for a visit. In making conversation, the minster asked Johnnie if he prayed every night. Johnnie replied, "Naw, some night I don't want anything."

A little girl 4, came to the table one day in a disgruntled mood. She complained loudly about every dish on the table. Hoping to change the mood, her mother suggested that she give the blessing. After a sullen pause, she prayed, "OK, God, I forgive you for this food." -- Arden Taylor, Goldwaite, Tex. "Lite Fare," Christian Reader.

"It has been said that this magnificent prayer starts and ends on the highest of mountain peaks. It begins with our Father in heaven glorified and finishes with His kingdom and glory. In between, however we take a journey into the valley where all of us live . . . into the lowland of human need. We start the prayer with God, we end the prayer with God. But between those two majestic summits are the concerns we deal with every day- our need for right priorities, for protection, for provision." Prayer the Great Adventure; David Jeremiah.

  1. This part of the prayer is not detached from the previous part.
    1. Some think that the first half of the prayer is about God and the second half is about us.
      1. Some divide the prayer that way.
      2. They consider the first part to be spiritual and the second physical.
    2. "By giving us our daily bread, forgiving us our debts and leading us, God hallows His name, brings His kingdom, and does His will on earth." Jesus Pattern of Prayer; John MacArthur
    3. "We are saying, 'God, glorify Yourself in our daily provision. God, glorify yourself in our constant forgiveness. God, glorify Yourself in the leading and the directing of our Your Holy Spirit in our lives.'" Jesus Pattern of Prayer; John MacArthur
    4. Many have forgotten that our purpose on earth is to bring glory and honor the God.
    5. You cannot pray your kingdom come and your will be done and they pray that God would not use your life to accomplish those things.
    6. You cannot grasp that God is a holy and a righteous God with a capital G and then live life as if we are in the greatest amusement park ever built.
  2. God desires to bless and He has provided abundantly to do that.
    1. God obviously intended for us to enjoy the creation.
      1. Why else such diversity.
        1. Such beauty in flowers and landscape.
        2. Breathtaking scenes.
        3. Vast oceans and high mountains.
        4. Tropical jungles and deserts.
      2. Even though the word bread is used here it is obvious that not only bread is meant but all physical needs.
        1. Jesus has here lumped all our physical needs into this one word.
        2. This includes shelter, clothing and food, water etc.
        3. God has given us everything that we have.
        4. You do not have anything that did not come from this earth.
      3. Has He done that.
        1. Look at the foods we can enjoy.
        2. Breads, fruits, vegetables, meats etc.
        3. You can pick your climate for there is such variety.
      4. If God wanted to make our lives hard, He could have.
      5. But sin has ravaged the world.
      6. Satan has ruined God's perfect paradise.
  3. The purpose of the physical is to fulfill the spiritual.
    1. Why do you have what you have, if you are a Christian.
    2. God blesses us so that we can carry on His kingdom work in this world.
    3. "It is crucial that we remember that all those petitions in the Disciple's Prayer, though directed at our essential needs, are ways in which God's glory come to earth and makes itself manifest." Jesus Pattern of Prayer; John MacArthur
  4. This prayer recognizes where our physical blessings come from.
    1. Now comes the catch.
      1. It would not seem reasonable in America to pray for our next meal.
      2. Instead most of us would do better to pray, deliver me from eating my next meal.
      3. Most Christian's in America have trouble identifying with this because the do not see God as the one supplying their needs.
      4. We think this prayer is better for those in Cambodia or Sudan.
    2. But let us see that the common things we consider as normal will one day be taken away.
      1. Revelation tells of a day when God will shut off the lights in heaven, He will turn the rivers to blood.
      2. On that day your retirement account won't be worth a dime.
      3. All the money in the bank will be gone.
    3. He sends the rain and the sunshine.
      1. Now you may respond that you always return thanks but is it a pretty pat prayer that is more automatic than real.
      2. As we approach thanksgiving do we realize that we are totally dependent upon God and to Him is do all honor and blessings for all that we enjoy.
    4. That is why we come to Him in prayer when we say GIVE.
      1. The idea springs from faith, from a relationship.
      2. God does not owe us anything other than what He has promised and that only because He must be true to Himself.
      3. He is due all thanksgiving and praise.
      4. He is the one gives to all.

Don't be like Johnnie. Pray give us this day our daily bread and realize that He give you more than you ask for.

Give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. 9For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, "Who is the Lord?" And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God's holy name. Prov. 30:8, 9

And remember that the greatest riches are spiritual not physical

32Jesus said, "I assure you, Moses didn't give them bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven. 33  The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." John 6

31"So don't worry about having enough food or drink or clothing. 32  Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, 33  and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. Matt 6