Sometimes the best way to pray is to use the words of Scripture directly. Here is an example from Luke 11.
2 And he said to them, “When you pray, say:
“Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. 3 Give us each day our daily bread, 4 and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”
Bad news about the global financial system is pouring out of our news media as if from a fire hose. For anyone out there who has been tempted to trust in Mammon, I offer my condolences. This is no doubt a very tragic and stressful time for you.
I would also offer the encouragement that trusting in Jesus and Him alone is not so bad. It can even be kind of fun once we have the right perspective. For example, take this experience from a week or so ago.
The Lord had been speaking to my heart through recent Bible studies about giving. After talking and praying it through with Ginger, when I recently received my paycheck, we decided to give most all of it back to the church. It seemed like the right thing to do. How surprising it was to then receive a check in the mail for $1000 a few days later from some out-of-state friends.
Now let’s be clear, our donating large sums of money to our church is not very common. Even more unusual is our receiving large unexpected cash gifts. I wouldn’t have mentioned either except that I felt this was a story that needed to be shared. It makes the reality of serving a Living God just that much more real to us right now.
“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.” – Philippians 4:19-20 (NKJV)
It’s natural to be concerned about our own needs – and it’s not altogether bad, either. For one thing, it prompts us to go out and work and there’s nothing at all wrong with that.
“The person who labors, labors for himself,
For his hungry mouth drives him on.”
– Proverbs 16:26 (NKJV)
Our need for provision prompts us to pray. That’s what “Give us this day our daily bread” is all about. There we have it, a prayer for provision from the very mouth of Jesus.
Nonetheless, most of us tend to place our need for provision above our need for the Provider – a clear case of improper priorities. Therefore Christ also encourages us with the following:
“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” – Matthew 6:31-33 (NKJV)
Seeking first His kingdom – let that be our aim. Let His righteousness be our top priority. Provision has its place in God’s plan, but if we keep it in perspective, it’s the Provider that will always remain in the foreground of our view of life.
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” – Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV)