“Give us this day our daily bread.” Matthew 6:11
I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on what this scripture means. So often we pray for “big” things – the big picture, a big decision, a big or long-term trial, or an over-reaching general situation.
Regarding physical needs, Jesus said not to worry about tomorrow or about whether we’ll have what we need in the future (Matt 6:25-34). And as we just noted He also told us that when we pray, we’re to ask for God to meet our needs for that day (Matt 6:11).
I believe that this same principle applies to our prayers for other needs as well.
It seems that asking God for my daily bread means not only asking Him for physical nourishment for that day, one day at a time – it also means asking for spiritual nourishment and sustainment for that day. It means asking Him each day – and even multiple times throughout the day – for what I need in order to glorify Him that day (Matt 6:33; Ecc 12:13; John 15:8).
Not just asking for wisdom in a business venture, but also for wisdom and direction in the decisions of that day. Not just asking for victory over a stronghold, but also for strength to overcome the temptations of that day. Not just asking for a closer walk with Him, but also for help to spend focused time in the Word and in prayer that day. Not just asking for a stronger marriage, but also for help to bless my husband that day. Not just asking to be a better mom, but also for help to be loving and consistent that day.
These daily needs can be broken down even further. After all, aren’t all those big things made up not only of daily needs but also of little moments of need?
Ought we to only ask God generally to guide and help in an overall situation, and then presume to handle those little moments and decisions ourselves?
Dare we ask God to “take care of” more bothersome issues and yet not consider that we need Him moment by moment to empower us to bear fruit, live wisely, overcome sin, and serve Him?
Oh, how I need Him every single moment!
“Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Pray without ceasing – that scripture makes more and more sense to me each passing day!
I cannot simply pray for a better relationship with someone and then give it my best shot (even if I pray for this relationship every day). No! Throughout the day as I engage that relationship moment by moment I must pray and depend on God to give me victory in the challenges each moment brings: to give me a soft answer in each conversation…active love in each moment I feel more like hating…eyes to see others as God sees them when I feel like looking down upon them…patience and perseverance in interactions that are needful but which I’d prefer to avoid.
I need His help in every moment.
Each moment of each day brings its own challenges and temptations. Each moment of each day is a battle against the flesh, the world, and/or the devil. I cannot act in love, joy, peace, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control apart from Him. A branch cannot bear fruit apart from the vine. (Gal 5:22-25; John 15:1-11)
Praying moment by moment trains our heart to be dependent upon Him in all things. It’s one facet of truly abiding in Christ. In doing so, we subject our will to His and by His grace allow His Word to guide our words, thoughts, and actions…and as He gives us victory in these seemingly little momentary battles, we see our prayers answered – and He is glorified.
What a marvelous thing!