Summary: “Our daily bread” isn’t a prayer just for boring old bread. Instead, “Our daily bread” is a prayer for the basic physical needs of life.
The Lord’s Prayer is but 38 words (in its original form in Luke’s gospel) that change the very way we understand God, ourselves, and the world. It’s the richest single source in the entire Bible of information on how to pray. It’s not the only place where prayer is taught inside the pages of the Bible but it the richest place to go for teaching on prayer …because it’s a model of true prayer for everyone. And I can say to you now without any reservations at all that all of the answers to all of your problems, when they’re rightly understood, are here. Let me say that again: the answers to all of your problems, if you rightly understand them, are in the Lord’s Prayer.
Why This Series? 1) I want to help you develop a powerful prayer life. I’m calling on all of us who believe in Christ to turn up the volume of our prayer life. To turn up the intensity of our prayer life. 2) I want to encourage you by showing you that God hears prayer.
Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” 2 And he said to them, “When you pray, say:
“Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
3 Give us each day our daily bread,
4 and forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.” (Luke 11:1-4)
Introduction to Today’s Sermon
This is the third week for us to look at the Lord’s Prayer. And today we enter into the second half of the Lord’s Prayer. There’s five different “asks” in this prayer and today we’re focusing on praying for what we need. To many people, this is the whole point of prayer. The whole point of prayer is how do you get God to give you things, right? It can be the prayer of a lost hiker who can’t find his way back out of the dense forest, the frightened airplane passenger, or the mother who hovers over her sick child. Sometimes your prayer is nothing more than two words: “Oh, God!”
We often ask ourselves and others, “How do I get God to give me what I need?”
1. Why Pray?
It was the former Soviet Union leader, Vladimir Lenin, who wrote, “Electricity will replace God. The peasants should pray to it; in any case they will feel its effect long before they feel any effect from on high.” Some doubt the power of prayer altogether. While others wonder, “If God cures one person’s cold because they prayed, why didn’t He prevent Auschwitz?”
Let’s tackle one common questions to help you pray… Why Pray if God Already Knows? We Don’t Pray So God Can Learn Our Needs. Jesus tells us: “your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Matthew 6:8). In the second half of the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus teaches us to pray for three things:
1) We are to pray for the food we need;
2) We are to pray for grace to cover our sins;
3) We are to pray for deliverance away from temptation.
And God knows we need each of these three things before we pray. God isn’t ignorant. He doesn’t need to go to school. He knows what we need before we ask. So why should we pray? Let’s compare prayer to rubbing Aladdin’s Lamp for a moment. If prayer worked like Aladdin’s Lamp and you placed the lamp in the hands of fourth grader where God had to do what she asked for… God says, “I’ll grant you three wishes, no matter how stupid or smart your request is.” Some of you would be married to fifteen people while others would have killed everyone you work with. How comfortable would you be with this scenario? You say, “But I’m smarter than a fourth grader. God could trust me with Aladdin’s Lamp.” Really? Listen to this: Between 2000 and 2004 more than four million live animals were brought weekly into Miami’s International Airport. And those were only the ones that we individually counted. An additional twenty-one tons of animals that no one bothered to count. These non-invasive animals do $120 billion worth in environmental damage last year alone. Among the animals that are brought into the United States is the Burmese Python. Some of these snakes are released into the wild while others escape. No matter, because the Burmese Python is a nonnative species to Florida so it can find things to eat but few things are eating pythons as of yet. They are aggressive predators as they can even kill deer and alligators. They are eating raccoons, opossums, as well as bobcats. In 2012, a Burmese python was discovered that measure 17 feet, 7 inches. This mother python was carrying 87 eggs. People have purchased Burmese pythons as pets only to release them because they fear the snake will harm their other pets. But it is a disaster for the Florida environment.