Matthew 6:9-13 (ESV)
Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
[10] Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
[11] Give us this day our daily bread,
[12] and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
[13] And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Here we acknowledge that even the most basic needs are provided by God. We acknowledge here that God is at work even in the most mundane ordinary things of life.  This prayer is a reminder that there is such a thing as Providence. God works through ordinary things to accomplish His purposes. And even though we may think that in this part of the world there is plenty of food and plenty of places to buy it, it is all supplied by God. Food does not come first of all from No Frills or Fortino’s or Food Basics. It comes from God. Pills and medicine and dentistry and housing and such things are not things that a rich country provides. These things come from God. For all our extravagance and lack of want in this country, we are now being told that a shortage of bees in the world could mean that food supplies may be in danger. We think we are so secure, but our ability to eat is controlled by an insect created by God to pollinate plant foods.

This is also a prayer about contentment. We have no warrant here to pray for the luxuries of life. Jesus is telling us that we should be content to have our needs met. We do not need T-bone steaks and caviar. We are not hard done by if we cannot eat out once a week. If Tim Horton’s closes we should not complain. To pray this prayer is to pray that we be content with the necessities of life and not get sucked into the materialism and love of possessions that marks our culture.

1 Tim. 6:6-8 – Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment,  [7] for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.  [8] But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.

There is not much that is more disagreed with in the NT in our culture than that statement. And the great danger is that we catch their disease. “Content with food and clothing?” Not a chance. The degree to which we are not content with having our needs met is the degree to which we are conformed to the world in which we live.

When you pray the Lord’s Prayer, do you pray it with honesty? Do you really need another pair of shoes? Do we need everything that we have set our hearts on? Can we pray for them with a clear conscience knowing that they really are needs? And if we cannot ask God for what we want with a straight face, then maybe we should not have it. Maybe you do need more shoes and books. But the point here is that we must know the difference between what we need and what we do not. Jesus only gives us warrant to pray for our daily needs to be met. And the promise of answered prayer is for those good things for which we ask.

There is a legitimate reason to want more money. It is found in Ephesians 4:28.

Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.

So if any of you are buying the nonsense on TV that some people try to pass off as Gospel when they tell you that God wants you rich then hear this. If God wants you rich it is so that you will share your wealth with the needy.

What a gracious and generous God we have as our Father. He can do all things and He tells us to ask Him for what we need. Let us never lose sight of the fact that every good and perfect gift comes from Him and He is more willing to give to us than we are to ask. And let us be filled with great gratitude. And let us remember that we may be what God is giving to people more needy than we are, so that their prayers for their daily bread are answered.

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