Monday, February 1, 2016

Daily Dependence - February 1, 2016

Luke 11:2-3 (New International Reader's Version)
2 Jesus said to them, "When you pray, this is what you should say.

"Father, may your name be honored. May your kingdom come.

3 Give us each day our daily bread."

When you get up in the morning, what are your first thoughts? Do you thank God for giving you another day here in earth? Do you ask Him to bless the day? Do you ask Him to guide you throughout the day, and to protect your family? Asking for your "daily bread" is probably way down on the list of firsts to pray for in the morning, yet to Jesus, as recorded here in the New Testament book of Luke, this request comes first after praising the Father's holiness and praying for the coming kingdom of God.

I believe that the point that Jesus was trying to make to His disciples is that their first focus of prayer after worship should be one of total dependence. This simple statement says much. It proclaims that they are dependent on God to provide them everything. It is a statement of surrender. For us it might be, "God please make sure that there is food on our table". It acknowledges your daily dependence on Him for everything we have and everything we do.

In the Western world, we are fairly independent. From an early age, we think that what we obtain comes from our own efforts. We forget that God was the One who gave us life and the ability to achieve and attain whatever we have. This is true for all of us. Rarely do we recognize that He gives us all things. Rarely are we totally dependent on God for all of our material needs. Spiritual maybe, but not for how we "make a living" and provide for our families. This is probably more true for men than women, but when was the last time you thanked God for your haircut or manicure?

Usually the only time we truly depend on God for the material is when we lose our job in some way. Then, and sometimes only then, do we lift up prayers to heaven and plea for His deliverance from that situation. I want to get like Paul, who while being chained to Roman guards in prison could still say this:

12 "I know what it's like not to have what I need. I also know what it's like to have more than I need. I have learned the secret of being content no matter what happens. I am content whether I am well fed or hungry. I am content whether I have more than enough or not enough. 13 I can do everything by the power of Christ. He gives me strength." Philippians 4:12-13 (NIV)

I would pray that all of us would be totally dependent on God for everything. I pray that we don't have to learn the lesson the hard way by having to do without. I pray that we would all acknowledge where all that we have comes from, and I pray that we may pass this knowledge of our daily dependence on God, to those who come after us.

About the photo: In 1918 in the town of Bovey, Minnesota Eric Enstorm took a photo of Charles Wilden sitting at a small table in prayer. As soon as the negative was developed, Enstrom was sure he had something special... a picture that seemed to say, This man doesn't have much of earthly goods, but he has more than most people because he has a thankful heart. Today Enstrom's picture GRACE, is known and loved throughout the world. Also known as Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread and as The Old Man Praying At The Dinner Table. ...Information and art can be obtained from wholesaleart.org

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