Our Daily Bread #979

Give us this day our daily bread. (Matthew 6:11, NKJV)

Even as earthly fathers provide for their families on a daily basis, it is God Himself who gives the rain for the food we eat, “filling our hearts with food and gladness” (Acts 14:17). Jesus assures us that our heavenly Father knows our physical needs and provides them to us in due season (Matt. 6:31-33).Therefore, our prayers are to be filled with joyful thanksgiving to our Father for His daily provisions. He gives and sustains our lives, and it is the ungrateful heart that eats without giving thanks and expressing faithful dependency upon God for life and its sustenance (1 Tim. 4:4-5). This portion of Christ’s model prayer reminds us that our prayers should gratefully recognize God as the loving and constant source of life’s provisions every day.

Prayer and God’s Program #978

Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10, NKJV)

It is helpful to remember this is a model prayer (Matt. 6:9). We are to pray respecting and yielding to God’s program – God’s will – in everything. John the baptizer had already preached that the kingdom of heaven was near (Matt. 3:2). Then, Jesus came preaching the gospel of the kingdom (Matt. 4:23). As Jesus predicted, the kingdom did come “with power” and Christians are now citizens of the kingdom (Mk. 9:1; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4; Col. 1:13; Heb. 12:28). God accomplished His will and established the coming kingdom, the church (Matt. 16:18-19). To pray for the kingdom to come today would deny the truth that it has already come! Nevertheless, the model of praying in harmony with the will of God is sound. Like Jesus in the garden, “thy will be done” is our prayer of faith and expectation that God will fulfill His will on earth – just as it is accomplished in heaven. When we pray, “thy will be done,” we must also live in harmony with His will so that our lives complement rather than contradict our prayers. God’s program will always succeed. May our prayers reflect our complete submission to His will in our lives.

In what manner do you pray? #977

In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. (Matthew 6:9, NKJV)

In what manner do you pray? Some approach prayer as a very casual conversation. While we are to avoid “vain repetitions” (empty rhetoric) when we pray, that does not do away with the awesome nature of prayer, or the awe-inspiring One to whom we pray. We must pray with utmost respect and regard for our Father. (We have been told of those who have tried to personalize prayer by beginning with, “Hi Dad” – a gross distortion of reverently addressing “our Father in heaven.”) God’s name – all that He is (His divine nature, holiness, grandeur and greatness) – shapes the reverence with which we must approach Him with our prayers. When you pray, fully recognize God’s sovereignty and absolute holiness (Rev. 4:8-11). Magnify His greatness and rejoice that we have the privilege of approaching Him in prayer. Although many call this passage “The Lord’s Prayer,” it is more aptly called the “Model Prayer,” from which we pattern the manner and content of our prayers (Matt. 6:9-15).