Closing the Gap 7.3.18

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Week 26 Day 2

Pray:

Ask God to reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.

Read:

Matt. 6:9-13 This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

Reflect:

How do you ask God to provide food when it is in your kitchen right now?  All you need to do is get up and go eat it. Does this prayer not apply to you?  Has it already been answered and you can pray for something else instead? No, if this prayer has been answered for you, then pray not for something else, but rather pray right now for someone else. Remember this is an “us” prayer, not merely a “me” prayer.  “Oh God, give us our daily bread!”  Do your brothers and sisters around the world have food today?  Are there not many who are hungry and crying out to God for food?  Not just for food, but for peace, safety, and relief from war. Some have it and some do not.  This is not just a prayer for self, this is a prayer for others as well. Why do some people lack daily bread?  Often it is because of the sins of those in positions of power in their countries. Of course, there are droughts and famines, but lasting misery among large groups of people are not traced to “natural” disasters, but to sinful and corrupt leadership whose wickedness and ineptitude prolong and multiply the suffering.  So, pray not just for bread, but also for leaders in places where people are suffering. “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone — for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:1-4).  As you pray for others who are desperate for daily bread, do not feel guilty that you have access to food. Guilt is something to be confessed and left behind. Do not live in guilt. It robs you of productive, forward movement towards God and others. Let the needs of others produce gratitude in you. Be grateful for daily bread and do not take it for granted. Let the needs of others produce a sense of stewardship in you. If you have been given more than others, then along with that increased privilege comes increased responsibility.  Pray, be grateful, and then ask yourself, “What else does God want from me today?” Not to earn his grace, but to express it to others. “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” (Luke 12:48).

Pray:

(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)

Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today.

 

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