In everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.—Philippians 4:6
One of the reasons Jesus taught us to pray “Give us today our daily bread” was because He wanted to build in us a barrier against ingratitude.
Do you pray daily for your physical needs? Do you ask God daily for things like food, shelter, and the other physical necessities of life? I must confess that when I asked myself this question before writing this page, I had to admit that I did not. Now I have made a decision to apply myself to this part of the Lord’s Prayer with greater sincerity.
Of course some people argue that because Jesus said: “Your Father knows the things you need before you ask Him” (Mt 6:8), then it is pointless to inform God of our physical needs because He knows them already. But the central value of prayer is that prayer is not something by which we inform God of our needs and thus influence Him to give things to us. Prayer is designed to influence us; it is we who are in need of this kind of prayer, not God. Of course God knows what we are in need of, but He also knows that unless we come face to face daily with the fact that we are creatures of need, then we can soon develop a spirit of independence and withdraw ourselves from close contact with Him.
Prayer, then, is something we need. God may not need to be told, but we need to tell Him. That’s the point. And unless we grasp it, we can miss one of the primary purposes of prayer.
O Father, thank You for showing me that prayer is not begging for blessings. It is becoming a blessing—to myself. I pray, not to change Your attitude towards me, but to change my attitude towards You. Thank You, Father. Amen.
Mt 6:19-34; Ps 37:5; 118:8; 125:1
What should be our attitude to worldly cares?
What should be our first priority?