Summary: Effective prayers involve recognizing God's protection and provision as well as requesting his pardon.
A Pattern for Prayer Part II
A. John Hannah said, “The end of prayer is not so much tangible answers as a deepening life of dependency…The call to prayer is a call to love, submission, and obedience…the avenue of sweet, intimate, and intense fellowship of the soul with the infinite Creator.”
B. Review of the first message on prayer.
1. The first part of the Lord’s Prayer, or really the Disciple’s Prayer.
2. Recognize the fatherhood of God, the hallowness of his name, his program and his plan.
3. Contains three petitions of which Dr. D. Martin Lloyd-Jones says, “Our whole life is found therein those three petitions, and that is what makes this prayer so utterly amazing. In such a small compass our Lord has covered the whole life of the believer in every respect.”
PRAY FOR GOD’S PROVISION
A. “Give us this day our daily bread.”
1. Seems out of place to many today.
2. Most in the Western world don’t have to worry about this.
3. We are aware of hunger in other countries, but it is in ours too.
4. The ghost of Christmas present gave Ebenezer Scrooge a glance of this in Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol.
1. In 2001 and 2002 we saw it in Afghanistan as a result of the corrupt ruling body and America’s bombing of that country for their participation in the September 2001 terrorist attacks.
2. Saw it in 1993 in Somalia before the intervention of the United Nations.
3. Multitudes were starving and dying every day.
4. News media was filled with pictures of these people, many too weak to get to the food and others covered with flies.
C. What starvation does.
1. Comes a time when the body will begin to feed on itself.
2. Disease is called kwashiorkor and it comes from a protein deficiency.
3. Body feeds on fats and carbohydrates for about 40 days then begins to feed on itself.
4. Disease is common in the third world.
5. Perhaps the reason no one fasts for more than 40 days.
D. Most of us know nothing about praying for our daily bread.
1. I can never remember a time when I had to wonder whether or not we would have food.
2. Most of us have enough in our freezers to last us some time.
3. People that Jesus spoke to did have to worry.
E. What bread refers to.
1. Our daily food but even more than that (all our physical needs).
2. John Stott said that to Martin Luther-leader of the Protestant Reformation, “everything necessary for the preservation of this life is bread, including food, a healthy body, good weather, house, home, wife, children, good government, and peace.”
F. It is wonderful to know that God is concerned about our physical needs.
1. He is the creator and controller and is very busy.
2. He is concerned about us and obligates himself to care for us.
G. This part of prayer is petition and affirmation.
1. We affirm our belief that God will supply our needs.
2. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)
H. God is the source of all our blessings.
1. We owe everything to him.
2. Example: The colonel on M*A*S*H who didn’t want Hawkeye to operate on him because of Hawkeye’s disrespect. Potter said to him, “Suffering succotash man, you owe your life to that man.”
3. No matter how much we might work for what we have, ultimately we owe God for what we have.
4. No matter how many talents or gifts we have, we owe God for that.
5. God prepared the Garden for humans before they were created.
I. What asking God for our daily bread really means.
1. Recognizing he has supplied our needs in the past, is doing so in the present and will do so in future.
2. We make the request with confidence.
3. God only obligates himself to meet the needs of his children.
4. Even the common grace of God meets many of the needs of unbelievers.
J. We also have a part in meeting our daily needs.
1. God usually supplies through our part in working.
2. If a person does not work (not referring to those who want to work but cannot find word), they should not eat. (II Thessalonians 3:10)
3. God and we both have a responsibility.
4. God made the earth to produce, but we have abilities to start that process.
K. How do we make this petition?
1. One day at a time.
2. Be content with his goodness and faithfulness of today with confidence that he will repeat it tomorrow.