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Living Intentionally

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                           Living Intentionally

                           The Lord’s Prayer

                    Part 3: Give us our Daily Bread

                              Matthew 6:11

1.    Recap

So far we have seen that the Lord’s Prayer is a model that he has left for
us to use in our prayer life. I have said that something supernatural
happens to us when we pray the Lord’s Prayer. What do I mean by this?

1.1   The Lord’s Prayer is an invitation to share in the prayer-life of
      Jesus himself.
1.2   When we pray the Lord’s Prayer we are incorporated into the inner
      life of the Trinity, and we experience it!
1.3   The Lord’s Prayer reveals that God is present to celebrate with his
      people and to grieve with them, to give them his rich blessings and
      to rescue you them from the power of the enemy, because he is the
      Lord of heaven and earth.
1.4   The Lord’s Prayer is an invitation to know this God and to share in
      his innermost life!

In praying the Lord’s Prayer we start off by praising our way into the
presence of God by hallowing the names of God. To hallow the name of
God means to praise; to adore the Lord. But we do not pray just to get
into the presence of God and to enjoy his presence. We get into his
presence to change our lives; our families; our world; our church. And we
do this by declaring that God’s kingdom come; his will be done. In other
words we put our foot down and declare that nobody but Jesus is going to
rule my life; my marriage; family; church and nation. And in doing this
we prioritize our prayer life which releases kingdom power.

2.    Give Us Today Our Daily Bread

Now we come to the part of the prayer where we change gears. We pray
in what we need. In fact the next three petitions: give us today our daily
bread; forgive us our debts; and lead us not into temptation sums up all
our great needs; in fact our whole life is found in those three petitions.
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What did Jesus mean when he said: ‘Give us today our daily bread?’ It
simply means give us today what is necessary for us. It is a prayer of
necessities which range from material needs to physical needs, emotional
needs and spiritual needs. Everything that is necessary for us to survive!

There are four essential keys that unlock this part of the Lord’s Prayer. It
is no use running around praying; ‘Give us today our daily bread’ and
then expecting God to answer. There are four things we must do. What
are they?

       First, you must in the will of God.
       Second, you must believe that it is God’s will to prosper you.
       Third, you must be specific when you pray daily for what you
        need.
       Fourth, you must be tenacious.

2.1      Be in the will of God

To be in the will of God implies four things:

2.1.1 Fellowship with Jesus through reading and studying his Word.

To be in the will of God we need to be in daily fellowship with Jesus in
the Word and in prayer. It is essential. Many people ask but they never
receive because like the young rich ruler they want religion and not a
dynamic relationship with Jesus. As we fellowship daily with the Holy
Spirit he empowers us with divine ability, efficiency and might to do the
will of God.

2.1.2 Fellowship with God’s people.

2.1.3 Diligent, balanced work habits.

I believe that many Christians don’t get answers to their request because
they allow the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth to choke
out the Word of God which renders their life fruitless.

Matthew 13:22
  The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man
who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of
wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.
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Many Christians have an unbalanced work habit. They have their
priorities wrong. It is first work, then the family and then God. This is the
wrong way around. Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness
and then all things will be added to you (Mt 6:32). It is first God; then
your family; then your work and then the Church and then you are
walking in the will of God and now you can pray: ‘Give us today our
daily bread.’

2.1.4 Obedience in giving

The fourth prerequisite to being in the will of God is obedience in giving.
In Malachi 3:10 God promises that if we bring our tithes into the
storehouse, he will open the windows of heaven and pour our so many
blessings we cannot contain them.

Acknowledging God as our source and giving unselfishly back to him
helps destroy the root of all evil, the love of money (1 Tim 6:10). God
promises us that if we bring our tithes into the storehouse he will pour out
his blessings upon us. And these blessings come in different ways. On the
other hand Malachi says:

Malachi 3:8-9
  "Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me.
  "But you ask, 'How do we rob you?'
  "In tithes and offerings. [9] You are under a curse--the whole nation of
you--because you are robbing me.


He promises curses if we rob him of tithes and offerings. So to be in the
will God is to give whenever; wherever when God tells you to give.

It is very simple the requirement for being in the will of God can be
reduced to one element: The Lordship of Jesus in your life. If he is the
Lord of your life and he is ruling your life you will have fellowship with
him and walk in his will.

2.2   Believe that it is God’s Will to Prosper you

I am not preaching a prosperity gospel of name it and claim it nor I am
preaching a selfish ‘bless-me gospel.’ I am simply saying that to ask God
to provide for your needs means that you have to believe that he want to
prosper you – to bless you. Let’s have a look at what Scripture tells us in
this light.
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Philip. 4:19
   And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches
in Christ Jesus.


2 Cor. 9:8
   And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things
at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good
work.


2 Cor. 9:10-11
Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also
supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of
your righteousness. [11] You will be made rich in every way so that you
can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will
result in thanksgiving to God.


Don’t fall into the trap of self-pity that you are not good enough to ask
God to meet your needs. You are God’s treasured possession highly
valued and esteemed.

2.3   Be Specific

Notice how Jesus instructs you to pray: ‘Give us today our daily bread.’
But even more important notice what follows directely after his teaching
on prayer. He tells a parable dealing with asking specifically.

Luke 11:5-6
   Then he said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to
him at midnight and says, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, [6]
because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing
to set before him.'


Did you catch it? Did you notice the man asked specifically for three
loaves of bread? When you pray ‘give us our daily bread’, ask
specifically.

2.4   Be Tenacious

Turn to Luke 18:1-8.
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Jesus told this parable to highlight the repeated persistence of the widow:
‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ Because of the woman’s
tenacity, the unrighteous judge granted her request.

It takes tenacity and persistence to recover what Satan has stolen from us.
Too many Christians are looking for shortcuts. There are times when we
pray for something specifically and the answer comes immediately. There
are also times when we have to intercede persistently (new church) for
many needs and it takes tenacity before victory comes.

When we pray in faith God hears our prayer immediately but if God
response is delayed then continue to carry the petition in your heart.
Don’t allow yourself to grow weary and loose heart. If you do you will
miss God’s answer. I believe this is why there are so many miscarriages
in prayer. People give up to quickly. Matthew 7:7 in the Greek translation
says: ‘Keep on asking and it will be given to you; keep on seeking and
you will find; keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you.’

Some of us have given up aksing for our healing. Some of us have given
up aksing for loved ones to be saved. Some of us have stopped aksing for
our hurts to be healed. Keep on asking. Be tenacious. Jesus said:

Luke 18:1
  Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should
always pray and not give up.


Hebrews 11:6
  And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who
comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who
earnestly seek him.


Now I want to take these two keys: be specific and be tenacious and link
them to a passage of Scripture in Joshua. This is the account of Joshua
conquering the city of Ai.

Joshua 8:18-19
   Then the Lord said to Joshua, "Hold out toward Ai the javelin that is in
your hand, for into your hand I will deliver the city." So Joshua held out
his javelin toward Ai. [19] As soon as he did this, the men in the ambush
rose quickly from their position and rushed forward. They entered the city
and captured it and quickly set it on fire.
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Joshua 8:26
  For Joshua did not draw back the hand that held out his javelin until he
had destroyed all who lived in Ai.


Here we have the Holy Spirit telling Joshua to do a strange thing – to
hold out his javelin. This javelin did nothing militarily but in the spiritual
realm Joshua was claiming what was rightfully God’s. And this javelin is
a picture of specific; tenacious praying.

Now let’s link this to ‘give us our daily bread.’ When you are praying in
God’s provision be direct. Joshua pointed the javelin in the right direction
and he got the victory.

      Be specific – name what you need.
      Be tenacious – notice that Joshua did not withdraw the javelin until
       the victory was total. Don’t give up until God has answered and
       given you the victory! But be sure that what you are asking for is in
       the will God.

3.        Conclusion

In order to pray in God’s provision what must you do?

     1.   Be in fellowship with Jesus.
     2.   Believe that it is God’s will to prosper you.
     3.   Be specific.
     4.   Be tenacious.

				
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