Summary: I believe that this desire for independence is something that should not carry over into our spiritual lives. I think we all have experienced the failures and disappointments that come when we try to walk this way on our own. I believe that scripture t
On July 4th of the year 1776 a group of men known as the Second Continental Congress adopted a document which declared our nations independence from Great Britain. As Americans we are rightly proud of our Declaration of Independence. We hold men, such as John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and others as heroes who were courageous enough to stand against the most powerful nation in the world. We are proud of those who were willing to give their lives as a sacrifice for a free and independent nation. And we are proud of the independence that was won by those men.
As the years have gone by American independence has become a coveted trait. People from all over the world are willing to do whatever it takes for a chance to experience the freedom and independence of America. Time and time again we hear of those who showed up on the shores of Florida with nothing but a simple home-made raft and the clothes on their backs. Every day those who cross our borders illegally becomes more and more of a concern. Why? Because people want a chance to live in a free and independent America at any cost.
Our independence is something that we are proud of. We love the stories of seemingly “down and out” men and women who, against all the odds, reached down and “pulled themselves up by their bootstraps.” We love independence. We, as Americans and as humans, don’t like being told what to do… we like to do things our own way… we are disgusted at those who have the ability to make it on their own, but instead choose to rely on the generosity of someone else... we love to give others around the world the opportunity to experience in their native land the same independence and freedom that we enjoy.
We have a high regard for independence. And much of that is good and honorable. But this evening, I believe that this desire for independence is something that should not carry over into our spiritual lives. I think we all have experienced the failures and disappointments that come when we try to walk this way on our own. I believe that scripture teaches us the importance of depending upon God. Prov. 3:5 tells us to Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thy own understanding. In 2 Cor.3:5 Paul says Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God. On and on we could go. God’s Word teaches us the importance of and lifts up a philosophy of dependence upon God.
I want to do something that might seem somewhat strange to some of you tonight. I want to look at just a small portion of the Lord’s Prayer. Usually this would be a message you’d probably hear in someone’s series of sermons on the Lord’s prayer. But I just want to take a small section, one short sentence, and talk to you about it for a little while this evening.
The Lord’s prayer as Matthew records it in his gospel chapter 6:9-13… After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
I want us to look together at the statement that you can find in verse 11… Give us this day our daily bread. Lord, supply our needs for this day. I want to quickly talk with you this evening about the prayer of dependence upon God to provide for our needs. There are three traits about this petition that I think should be traits of our own prayer life. Let me just share those with you for a few minutes right now.
I. A Prayer of Humble Dependence
First of all, I believe Jesus was teaching us a humble dependence upon God. He says, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Now, this is not a demand. This isn’t walking up to the throne of God and proudly demanding our rights to be fed and clothed and sheltered. It isn’t pointing a finger at God and saying, “Lord, you’d better give me this.” John Wesley said “we claim nothing of right, but only of free mercy… We deserve not the air we breath, the earth that bears, or the sun that shines upon us… but God loves us freely; therefore, we ask Him to give...” This is not a demand for God to supply, but it is a humble plea that He do so.