October 15

Luke 11:3  “Give us day by day our daily bread.”

Did you know that enough food is thrown away every day to fill a 90,000 seat football stadium to the brim? For those who have known hunger and uncertainty shiver at this fact and are brought immediately back to that time when they lived in uncertainty. When Jesus said, “Give us our daily bread,” those listening immediately remembered the story of the Great Exodus out of Egypt to the Promised Land that had been told to them since they were young. While the Israelites were on their way they were stuck in the wilderness that did not have enough food to support a nation that size. Worry, fear, and uncertainty would have flourished except that God fed them daily with a bread like substance called manna. For the next 40 years this would be how God supplied their daily food. This is God’s faithfulness. He never stopped providing for His people and He promises to never stop providing for us.

Today’s Scripture: Exodus 16:11-16, 31 and John 6:31-35

What do you think? Name ways God has provided for you? How else has he been faithful to you?

Today’s Prayer: Take time to thank God for how he has provided for you (include basic needs) and pray for things you need him to provide.

[1]  Benson, Jonathan accessed athttp://www.naturalnews.com/033885_food_waste_America.html#ixzz3Fts8okow accessed 10/11/2014

October 16

Luke 11:3 “Give us day by day our daily bread.”

When facing a move or big life transition there always seems to be more questions than answers.  This is what the Israelites were doing.  For 400 years they had lived, worked and grew accustomed to the Egyptian way of life.  But now they were in an unknown wilderness pursuing a promise of protection and paradise in the Land of Canaan. Can you imagine the questions? What will it look like? What is the soil like? Are the people nice? You can feel the anxiety raising higher with each unknown. But for the Israelites, not only did they have the daily reminder that God was providing for them, they also had the memories of how God had worked on their behalf to be freed from slavery (10 Plagues) and the miraculous parting of the Red Sea.  These actions from God weren’t an empty sales pitch trying to prove he is trustworthy. Instead they were the natural actions of a God that cares abundantly for His people and us! Can you accept that God is working for us and release the unknowns to God who has the ability to help us?  The other option is for us to hold our self captive by the worry and anxiety of things we cannot know or change.

Today’s Scripture: Matthew 6:25-34

What do you think?  What are some future unknowns that cause you stress and anxiety? What examples of God’s faithfulness give you a sense of peace that He will help you with your unknowns?

Today’s Prayer:  Thank God for how he has provided for you with great care and pray for the things in your life that keep you from seeking God first (Matt. 6:33).

October 17

Luke 11: 3  ““Give us day by day our daily bread.”

The interesting thing about manna was it had no preservatives in it nor could you preserve it. In fact it was only good for that day. If you wanted more the next day you would have to go out and gather it.  You couldn’t can it, dry it, or salt it. It was only good for one day and then it would get wormy and moldy with the exception of the Sabbath Day of rest where manna would last two days.(Exodus 16) God wanted to teach the Israelites (and us) that trusting in God daily is the best way to live.  He knew when we start relying on ourselves things tend to go awry quickly and often. God wanted to teach a basic principle: God will give us enough for today. He will give us enough to get through it.  It might be food, but it also might be peace, assurance, love, acceptance, forgiveness, joy, friendship, encouragement and the list goes on.  When we let go and allow God to be our sustainer for today, we will be surprised, encouraged, and find peace!  All of this starts to happen when we hand over our worries to the One we can trust to help us.

Today’s Scripture:   Lamentations 3:21-24, Philippians 4:6-7

What do you think? What areas to you maintain control over instead of God? Is it time to start the journey to peace placing them in God’s care?

Today’s Prayer: Pray through the steps found in Philippians 4:6-7 (petition God, thank God, Give God the worry, Rest in His peace)

October 18

Luke 11:3 “Give us day by day our daily bread.”

If I was asked to number how many times my eyes were bigger than my stomach I would be embarrassed. Buffets are no longer my friends because I want all of it, yet my stomach is only so big. Does your prayer life resemble an empty plate at a buffet? Do you see what other people have, hoping there is still some of that at the buffet for you to have? Too often our prayer life goes beyond our needs to complex desires that are fueled by outside influences and selfish desires. The Israelites wanted more too. The daily manna was getting old after months of it.  It had almost been a year and they started to complain loudly that it had been too long since they had meat. But God responded with anger because “they craved other food.”(Numbers 11:34) How often do our prayers  include our cravings for ‘food’ other than what God wants us to have or desire. Do the ‘big eyes’ of discontent taint our prayers with selfish demands?

Today’s Scripture:    Numbers 11:4-10, Hebrews 13:5-6

What do you think? What assurance does Hebrews give you that we can be content with what we have? Is this enough? Should it be?

Today’s Prayer: Ask God to forgive you for your selfish prayers and ask for help is discerning what to pray for.

October 19

Luke 11:3  “Give us day by day our daily bread.”

“That’s not fair!” Somewhere in this world, at this very time, someone is thinking, feeling, or saying this phrase.  When we ask God to give us our daily bread (needs) it is never free from an expectation of how God will answer it. I understand that we must ask God in faith, expecting God to answer. Yet sometimes we have already made up our mind on what the answer should be. This is the opposite of the humility we are to have when we are asking the almighty God who has a hallowed name.

The Israelites were provided for daily by God and if you look further during this time he gave them water, protection, and shelter while they were in the desert wilderness. God’s faithfulness was seen for how he provided in their circumstance but it was not measured by what circumstance they were in. They were in an uncomfortable, undesirable desert! It was not an easy to live because the circumstance was bigger than they could change. But it was in this circumstance that they experienced God’s faithfulness. That is why the Apostle Paul found contentment in the good and bad circumstances because he was more concerned about his pursuit of following a faithful God than the circumstances he was in. On day 16 we were challenged to seek God with all our heart (Matt. 6:33) regardless of circumstance. This is how we overcome the worry and anxiety. Can we prayer about our circumstances? Absolutely! As long as it does not take priority over our pursuit of following Jesus.

 

Today’s Scripture:  2 Corinthians 11:23-28,  Philippians 4:11-13

What do you think? Does your prayer life show more concern for your pursuit of following Jesus with all your heart and seeing His faithfulness than for God to change your circumstances? Do you think that is why Paul received the strength from Christ to get through all those circumstances?

Today’s Prayer:  Tell God your desires to pursue Him no matter the circumstances and the strength to endure and honor Him through your current circumstances.

October 20

Luke 11:3 “Give us day by day our daily bread.”

So what do we pray for? This is a difficult question because prayer is about a relationship and not about manipulating outcomes. When I was newly married, I could not foresee nor know how to face the future conversations and needs of our marriage. Instead I approach my marriage day to day, not using predetermined responses to the circumstances. Rather I use the core principles that we have included into our marriage. (i.e. love, respect, trust and loyalty) as the guiding factor in how I respond to my wife.

The same is true in our relationship to God. How we pray and what we pray for should be shaped more by how God faithfulness and His Word has changed us than a reaction to our circumstances. It is not to inform God of our needs as he already knows them (Matt. 6:8). Rather it is our transformed hearts and minds that call out on God  to move in such a way that His kingdom comes and His will be done. Even if it means being done differently than you expect God to answer.  As we change and grow in our relationship with Jesus our prayers will change and be more and more aligned with what God desires. It is here that we will have the life changing prayers that are promised.

Today’s Scripture: John 15:7

What do you think? What are the two things that we are to do before we ask? How would these two things influence the way you pray differently?

Today’s Prayer:  Pray through Ephesians 3:14-21

October 21st

Luke 11:2-3  Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us day by day our daily bread.

Three Weeks!  Over the past twenty days we have found the Lord’s Prayer to be an opportunity to connect with God on such a deeper level.  So what has Jesus taught us so far?

Prayer is Worshiping God:

Our Father:          God loves us.

In heaven:            He sits in authority on His throne.

Hallowed:             There is no one like Him.

His Name:            We are to hold it as a precious gem.

Prayer is Asking God:

Kingdom Come: We invite God to change us.

Your Will Be Done:             We humbly accept His desires for our lives.

Give our Daily Bread:        Our faithful God will provide for us.

 

Today’s Scripture:  Read Matthew 6:9-13

What do you think?  In our journey of the Lord’s Prayer so far, what has been the biggest surprise you have found?  Which part to do you lack in your current prayers?

Today’s Prayer:  Walk through the Lord’s Prayer above and take time recognizing each of the parts listed.