“Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray.’ And he said to them, ‘When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”‘ And he said to them, ‘Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, “Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him”; and he will answer from within, “Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything”? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him whatever he needs. And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?'” Luke 11:1-12
“Feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.” Proverbs 30:8-9
I could sit in this passage on the Lord’s Prayer for hours, but several lessons come to me today. I love how, when the disciples entreat Jesus to teach them and He does, He models how He will answer when they pray–directly and according to their specific request. He immediately focuses them upward to behold their good heavenly Father and to proclaim His holiness and sovereignty. Prayer is not so much a ‘trade’ we perfect or accomplish as a practice of acknowledging that God is God and we are not. We cannot look to mighty God and ask for His will to be done without humbling ourselves and surrendering to Him. It is in this posture we see Him and our needs rightly.
He then instructs them to request enough bread for the day, just as He fed the Israelites in the wilderness for forty years–an exercise that requires daily dependence, daily discipline, daily communion, daily feeding. He knows the human frame, He knows how we establish healthy habits, He knows all our needs, and He supplies sufficiently as we look to Him for sustenance. He trains us as His children to persist in specific prayer so we trust Him implicitly, love and thank Him as the giver of all gifts, and are satisfied in Him alone. (Exodus 16:35; Deuteronomy 8:3)
My Father, Who is in heaven, turn my chin upward and bend my knees in joyful worship and grateful dependence day by day. Bring Your kingdom and fulfill Your will in and through me as I feed on Your ‘enough.’ And may my life proclaim that Yours is the kingdom and power and glory forever, amen.