Closing the Gap 7.2.18

Week 26 Day 1

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:

In the New Testament, the word translated “bread” is often used to indicate a meal or food.  A prayer for “daily” food is a prayer for what we need today; it is a practical request, but it is also a request that provides perspective.  It is a constant reminder of our need and his provision. This is especially true for those who live in countries where the daily eating of food is commonplace rather than a rare occurrence.  The food chain in a modern society is quite complex. It begins with those who sow and harvest the food at the “ground” level to those who transport it, process and package it, then sell it at local groceries or restaurants. Where is God in all of this?  How is he “providing” daily food? In the wilderness God provided “bread from heaven.” The Israelites called it “manna” (a word that literally means “what is it?”). For the wandering Israelites, it was quite obvious that God was the entire food chain. It was clear that God was providing the daily bread.  In fact, except for the day before the Sabbath, they were forbidden from collecting any more manna than they needed for today. If they tried to collect more than their daily bread, the manna would be rotten and inedible the next day. God wanted them to trust him each day for today. But apart from that specific group of people during a specific time in history now called the “Exodus,” God’s role in the food chain is not nearly as obvious.  In fact, many (and probably most) people would not dream of giving thanks for a meal because God was not responsible for their food, they were. They earned the money to purchase it. Some farmer grew it and a trucker transported it. God is not providing daily food, they are. Jesus said pray like this, “Give us today, our daily bread.” Why? Because it is true that he is providing our daily food. More importantly, it is true that we are prone to miss this fact.  Even those who believe God is not providing anything for them are, in fact, enjoying his provision. However, they are not enjoying God, the provider. As you go to your grocery store, restaurant, or kitchen to obtain a meal today, ask God to provide your daily needs. Do this because the assumption that the human food chain cannot fail is a false assumption; it can fail. Do this because even if the human agents active in providing your meal do not fail, it is God who is providing all that is needed along the way. Sun, rain, crops, human wisdom and strength are all gifts from God.  Ask for his daily provision today and give thanks for it today. Position yourself not merely to enjoy God’s provision but also to enjoy God the provider.

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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