Summary: 4th message in an 8 week series on the Lord’s Prayer. This one deals with the phrase: "Give us today our daily bread..."
Can You Hear Me Now? Good! Week 4
MATTHEW 6:11, 25-34
The story is told of 4 men who were flying in a small commuter plane when the pilot noticed engine trouble. It wasn’t but a few minutes later when all power died he knew they were going down. So, the pilot went back to the passenger section and said, "Men, both engines are out on our plane and we are going to crash. Now, before you panic, I have some good news and some bad." The good news is that there are parachutes, the bad news is that there are only 3 and there are 4 of us." Then he said, "Gentlemen, since there is no way out and I have 4 children and a wife I’m taking a parachute. I will not have my family live a life of worry and stress without a father and husband." And just that quick he grabbed a parachute and was out of the plane before the others knew what was going on.
Now there were only 2 parachutes left and 3 men. One passenger quickly stood up and said, "Fella’s I hate to brag at a time like this but I’m a nuclear physicist and I am said to be the smartest man in the whole world. Our country needs me and I’m not going to sit here and worry either about whether or not we will survive." So, he grabbed one and was out of the plane in a flash. Of the two men left, one was an eagle scout and the other an old preacher. The preacher looked up and said, "Son, you take the last parachute. I have lived a good life, I’m not worried about whether I survive. I know my eternal destiny, I am ready to be with the Lord." To which the young scout said, "Well, preacher, you really don’t have to worry.. because the smartest man just jumped out with my back-pack!"
What is it that causes you to panic? What causes you to worry? Your finances? job? School? Kids? Your weight? Your schedule? This is the age of anxiety. People seem to be uptight and worry about so many things. Yet, one research project concluded that 40% of all worries are about the future and they never happen; 30% of worries are about the past and they can’t be changed; 22% of worries about petty things that have no lasting significance, and only 8% are legitimate concerns. No wonder Pro. 12:25- “Worry weighs a person down."(NLT) And although we know that worry is useless many of us still struggle with it. And God knows that. So He has provided help.
If you’ve been with us for the other messages in this series you know that our theme is based on hearing God say, “Can you hear me now?” And then saying, “Good!” as we apply each of these principles. Keeping that theme in mind, almost all wireless providers will try to convince you that they provide “worry free wireless” in terms of their coverage and service. Verizon says: “We never stop working for you” and claims the largest national coverage. Cingular says, “More bars in more places” trying to sell you on their growing signal strength. But God wants you to know that you can have more than worry free wireless, you can have a “worry-free life,” if you will put this simple phrase.. “Give us today our daily bread” into practice.
I. UNDERSTANDING THE PHRASE:
Let’s begin, as we have each week, by making sure we understand the phrase Jesus gives us in this model prayer. There are a couple of interesting insights here.
(1) Note the pronouns in the request. Jesus does not say, “When you pray say.. Give ME today MY daily bread..” but “Give US today OUR daily bread.” William Barclay writes: “`A man,’ runs the Jewish saying, `should always join himself with the community in his prayers.’ The very use of the plural precludes selfishness in prayer.” Prayer was never intended to be like Larry Bryant’s tongue-in-cheek- song.. “Shopping list.” The chorus reads:“Give me this, I want that, bless me Lord I pray, grant me what I think I need to make it through the day. Make me wealthy, keep me healthy, fill in what I missed, on my never ending shopping list.” Prayer certainly contains the element of asking for our own needs but it also must consist of praying for the needs of others. You see, this is a request for God’s provisions and Jesus is saying it must come from a generous heart not one only concerned about “my” welfare but about “our” welfare. Phil 2:4- “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”