Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Lord's Prayer Part II - Talking to the Father about the Family, Part 10 of 61

TEXT: "In this manner, therefore, 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 this day our daily bread" (Matthew 6:9-11).

IDEA: Our Father provides our daily bread in several different ways.

PURPOSE: To help listeners realize how our Father in heaven answers our prayer for “daily bread.”

A friend wasn’t being blasphemous when he asked, “I wonder about the request for ‘daily bread’ when I have a freezer full of food. It’s certainly a prayer that many people in the world might make, but I have more food than I need for a day.”

What could you say to him?

I. It’s difficult to pray the Lord’s Prayer and have that request.

We think that the prayer encourages us to ask for ourselves or our family.

The us is wider than that:

Paul testified to that when he spent a great deal of time and strength raising money for the Christians in Jerusalem. Why?

He writes to the Corinthian Christians about how we should regard an abundance when we have it: 2 Corinthians 9:6-11.

Whenever we pray this prayer, we are reminded of others who do not have life’s basic necessities and the opportunities and gifts that God has given to us to minister to them.

Perhaps my friend’s prayer should be, “Father, FORGIVE me this day my daily bread, for I have received so much and have done so little to share.”

II. How does our Father answer the prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread”? What would we expect?

He does it by giving the rain and sun to water the earth to bring forth a harvest (Isaiah 55:10-11). When we have a drought, we then recognize God’s constant gifts.

He may do this for others through us.

In the feeding of the five thousand, why do you think Jesus fed them as he did? He did it through the disciples (Matthew 14:13-21).

2 Corinthians 8:13-15 puts this principle in different terms.

Have you ever seen this in operation?

When we pray this prayer, we commit ourselves to be part of God’s answer.

This is not only good theology but also good table manners as well. Part of learning to pray this prayer is learning to pass the bread to our brothers and sisters at the table with us.

We teach that to our children, but we must learn it as well.