Summary: Even with all that we have in America, I want to show you why it is still important to ask God to provide our daily needs. When we ask God for something, we are acknowledging that He is the source of what we need and that He owns everything.

Purpose: To explain the importance of asking God to supply our daily needs.

Aim: I want the listeners to see how dependent they are on God for everything.

INTRODUCTION: Today we are looking at the first of three requests for personal needs in what we call the Lord's Prayer.

The first personal request has to do with our present physical needs: "give us this day our daily bread"

The second personal request has to do with our past mental needs: "forgive us our debts"

The third personal request has to do with our future spiritual needs: "deliver us from evil"

In the first three requests we saw that we should be praying that God will be glorified: we should be asking that God's name will be seen as holy, that God's Kingdom will come, and that we will do God's will.

As we look at the last three requests for our personal needs we are going see that they also are for God's glory as well.

Before we look at what Jesus is saying about prayer it is interesting to learn what the world thinks about prayer. A few years ago an article by Kenneth L. Woodward in Newsweek Magazine gave us a modern perspective on prayer.

Kenneth L. Woodward has been responsible for Newsweek's Religion section since 1964. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Woodward graduated with honors from Notre Dame University in 1957. Over the years Woodward has lectured at over 40 colleges and universities. In 1993 he was Regents Visiting Professor in the Religious Studies Department at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

This is what he had to say about prayer: "For some theologians, the basic issue is simple. Modern science presents an increasingly compelling model of how the world works to which religion, if it is to remain intellectually honest, must adjust its ideas about God."

By the way, let's remember that it was "Modern Science" that used to think that the earth was flat. It was "Modern Science" that led the doctors to bleed President George Washington to death thinking it would cure him. It was "Modern Science" that disgraced Hungarian physician Ignaz Semmelweis and forced him to lose his job because he insisted that doctors wash their hands between patients, even though the practice proved to reduce mortality rates by 99%.

Woodward went on to say, " For these theologians, prayers of petition are understandable but intellectually outdated. 'It's not very helpful to think of God as an old man in the sky waiting for communication and answering it,' says Gordon Kaufman, emeritus professor at Harvard Divinity School. 'We have to think of God much more in accordance with the general picture of the world.' According to that picture, Kaufman argues, the universe is an ecological system where scientific laws govern the course of events, making the idea of a transcendent personal God untenable. 'I prefer to think of God as creativity, rather than as creator,' he says. In this reconfigured world, therefore, praying to a personal God, as he once did, makes no sense." [1]

Jesus, on the other hand, tells us to pray to God about everything--even our every day needs.

It is important to note that Vs. 11 does NOT say that we should thank God for our daily needs (although we should do that), it DOES say that we should ASK God to supply our daily needs.

► I. Praying for our Daily Bread shows our dependence on God

We have to remember that having plenty to eat was not a given in Christ's day. The problem for most of us is that we don't see the need to ask for our daily needs. For example, we have so much food in America that if we didn't have machines to harvest our crops it would take 31 million people and 61 million horses to get the crops in every year.

Even with all that we have in America, I want to show you why it is still important to ask God to provide our daily needs.

When we ask God for something, we are acknowledging that He is the source of what we need and that He owns everything.

Psalm 24:1 The earth is the LORD'S, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it. (NAU)

St. Augustine said, "When thou sayest, "Give us this day our daily bread," thou dost profess thyself to be God's beggar. But be not ashamed at this; how rich soever any man be on earth, he is still God's beggar. ... If he were not in need, he would not knock at the ears of God in prayer. And what doth the rich man need? I am bold to say, the rich man needeth even daily bread. For how is it that he hath abundance of all things? whence but because God hath given it him? What should he have, if God withdrew His hand? Have not many laid down to sleep in wealth, and risen up in beggary? And that he doth not want, is due to God's mercy, not to his own power."

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