Discipleship Lesson #12
How shall we pray- part 2
Give us this day our daily bread. Matthew 6:11
In the last lesson, we looked at the first part of the Lord’s Prayer or the Lord’s Model Prayer in how we should begin our prayers with worship or praise to the heavenly Father. In this lesson, we will look into the next aspect that we should do—asking for our physical need.
In the verse above, it shows what we need this day is our daily bread. It is simply the bread that we need to survive, and without this bread, we would die of lack of food. By application, this verse shows us to pray for our physical needs. One may ask, “Why pray if I already have what I need?” You may think that you have what you have because of how hard you work, but really it is the hand of God that gives it to you. For instance, if you neglect praying for your physical needs because your cupboards are full, who is to say whether or not that somehow God may take it away? Or it could be that what you have will not go as far as what it could have if you prayed about it. You could say that you have the job that you work and you get the money to pay for the things that you need. But it is God that gives you the good health that you have and the strength that you have in order to go to work. It is God’s blessing that your car that gets you to your job works. Don’t think to yourself that since you have it now it means you don’t have to pray. We still need to pray over things that we need, even if we currently have them; otherwise, we will not be thankful for those needs which have been provided, and we will not give God the praise.
In Matthew 6:8, the Bible tells us that before we ask God for what we need physically, He already knows. You might look at that and say, “Well then what is the use of praying for it, if God already knows?” We should be reminded that Christianity is not a religion that if we check off the things that we know we are supposed to do then we please God. No, it is all about a relationship with God. For instance, if my son needs something, if I was paying attention, I would know what he needed before he showed signs of needing it. But it is a blessing for my son to come to me and ask me for what he needs so he can be joyful over what I give him and it strengthens our relationship. I believe it is the same way with God. We need to talk with Him because we are in a relationship with Him and He loves answering our needful request even though He already knows that we need it. It is for us to glorify Him to others, saying this is how God answered my prayer.
Also in Matthew 6:25-32, Jesus goes into those things that we have need of. First is food for the day. He gives the analogy of the fowl of the air, that they do not do what we do in sowing or reaping in the field or saving food in the barn, but He feeds them. So we do not need to worry over that because we are more important to God than the birds in the sky. Second is clothing to wear. He gives another analogy about the flowers of a field looking marvelous and that Solomon, in all of his glory, did not look like one of these. Jesus asks the rhetorical question of aren’t we much better than these things or will God who gives to these things items that they need will not give us what we need. We need to ask and know that He will take care of our needs.
The question that many could have right now in this discussion is what about those prayers that aren’t answered. It is a worthy question due to many people have the idea of if I ask for it, then it should be given to me. There are three criteria that need to be understood in order for prayers to be answered. The first one is that we are in right fellowship with God by examining our lives to see if we have any sin and ask the Lord to forgive us those sins. We will examine this concept in more detail in the next lesson. The second criterion is understanding that a need and a want are usually different things. God will always provide what we need but at His own digression gives us sometimes what we want but withholds them according to His own plan or according to what He knows is best for us. In James 4:3, the Bible says, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” With this in mind not everything that you will consider to be a need is a need, but God knows our needs and will provide for them. Usually, He provides our needs through the work that we do. The third criterion for prayers to be answered is to pray according to the will of God. First John 5:4 says, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us.” So it needs to be according to God’s will for Him to answer you. This goes back to the last lesson, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” But He will always give us what we need when we need it, if we just ask Him for it.
Once again, how is your prayer life? Are you spending some time everyday praying to God, seeking His face? If you do not, then you will never be able to say how God could have answered your prayers and you will always be wondering, what if. I challenge you to start praying every day for everything you can think of that you need, and you will see God do wondrously through those prayers.