Summary: This sermon examines the fourth petition of our Lord’s Pattern for Prayer, "Give us today the food we need", seeking to explore how God provides for us.
A PATTERN FOR PRAYER
JEHOVAH JIREH – GOD PROVIDES
““That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” (Matthew 6:25–34, NLT)
"Give us today the food we need," (Matthew 6:11, NLT)
An elderly widow although extremely poor always gave praise to the Lord for all she received saying “The Lord gave it to me”. Some mischievous boys decided to trick her. Purchasing a bag of groceries, they placed it quietly on her doorstep, rang the bell and ran and hid in the bushes. When the old woman opened the door and found the parcel she cried out “Praise the Lord, He has once again supplied my need”. At this point the boys jumped out in glee saying, “Oh no it’s not the Lord, because we bought those groceries and put them on your doorstep. It wasn’t the Lord it was us!” “Oh yes it was” replied the old widow, ”The Lord provided the foodstuff, only this time he got the devil to deliver it!”
We come now to the fourth petition of A PATTERN OF PRAYER that our Lord gave us …"Give us today the food we need,"
HAVING FOCUSED OUR ATTENTION ON …
• GOD’S PERSON … “May Your name be kept holy”
• GOD’S PURPOSE … “May Your Kingdom come soon”
• GOD’S PROGRAM … “May Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven”
Jesus now adjusts OUR FOCUS IS NOW ADJUSTED TO our needs. How unlike many of our prayers that focus first on our needs, our requests, our concerns and only then sometimes as an afterthought we shift our focus to God, Who He is, what His intentions are and how He intends to achieve them. Having dealt with these first, our Lord now turns our attention to the satisfaction of our needs which come through …
• GOD’S PROVISION … “Give us today the food we need”
NOTICE THE PERSPECTIVE IS RIGHT …
FIRST AND FOREMOST …
OUR FOCUS ON GOD AND HIS PRIORITIES
THEN FOLLOWS …
OUR FOCUS ON OUR OWN PERSONAL NEEDS
Indeed this almost seems an anticlimax, having began in the very portals of heaven acknowledging who God is and worshipping Him, having contemplated God’s awesome purpose and program for this fallen world that has rebelled against Him, we suddenly descend to the mundane request for ‘our daily bread’.
It is small wonder that some have sought to spiritualise this request by suggesting that the ‘bread’ sought is not physical but spiritual. Yet we need to see that this petition no less than the preceding petitions is intended to bring glory to God and though on the surface it would appear simple, it has a deep and profound meaning that begs a careful study.
As we approach this petition regarding our needs, that our Lord taught us in His blueprint or pattern of prayer, we see…
• THE SCOPE OF OUR PROVISION
• THE SOURCE OF OUR PROVISION
• THE SCHEDULE OF OUR PROVISION
Firstly… THE SCOPE OF OUR PROVISION
The Greek word that is translated “food/bread” represents far more than just the food that is necessary to maintain our physical bodies…
Indeed “food/bread” in this petition represents all the resources or necessities for the sustenance of life. Martin Luther expressed this well when he wrote that …
“…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”. (Martin Luther)
Beloved, let this thrill your heart, the God who not only created the universe but also sustains it, the God who holds the stars and galaxies of space in His hand is the God who is concerned about our physical needs.