Matthew 6:11 “Give us this day our daily bread.”
How many times have you prayed the Lord’s Prayer during your life time? I know I have probably prayed it hundreds of times through the years. It is the first prayer we taught our children. It is a beautiful prayer given to us by the Lord Himself and it covers all that we need in life.
Recently, I saw a post about the Lord’s Prayer that really made me stop and think. I do not remember who posted it to give them the credit. The post asked about how often do we prayer the Lord’s Prayer asking for God to give us our daily bread and then we drive to the grocery store and buy all the food we need? In other words, we pray for God’s help and then turn handle the situation ourselves. That hits home for me because I try to rely on my own strength too often.
As we visited other countries while on mission, we have seen extreme poverty. These poor recite the same Lord’s Prayer as we do here in the U.S. The difference is when they ask for the Lord to give them their daily bread, they are fully relying on God to provide for them. Without God’s intervention in their lives, they could starve to death. Poverty forces them to rely on God instead of their own strength.
So who has more faith? Here in the U.S., does our affluence hamper our faith? Even if you do not think of yourself as rich, we are rich compared to much of the world. These are questions I have asked myself before while on mission trips. I really don’t know the answer but I have observed such a deep faith in the poor we worked with in countries like Kenya and Nepal. When you have absolutely nothing in this world, God takes on such a larger role in your life. The church becomes the center of life as we witnessed in Kenya. The compounds of the Kenyan churches are a beehive of activity all day long. The people come to the church to fellowship together and share together in their suffering and worship together. They want to be close to God in everything they do.
I believe with affluence come distractions that turn our attention away from God. We go through our days checking off our to-do lists and trying to accomplish as much as possible. Jesus is crowded out by our busyness. Then on Sunday, we go to church to find God and pray for all our needs only for Monday to arrive again and crowd out Jesus again. It is a cycle that victimizes so many of us.
I think we must all work to turn our attention to Christ more often. We must learn to rely more fully on God and less on ourselves. This requires us to offer up all our decision to Christ in prayer every day and listening for His directions. Growing our prayer life is not something that happens overnight, it will take time and effort. Our day should start with prayer, we should pray throughout the day and we should end our day with prayer. It requires us to change the way we think about our lives. Without Christ, we are nothing. Jesus is responsible for everything we have in this world, it is not from our own efforts. Christ needs to be given time in our day, everyday. I fall short of offering every decision to Christ but I am trying to change my habits to make Him the most important part of my day.
May the Lord Bless you and keep.
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”