God's Provisions Through Prayer

Faith Church January 23, 2010 Matthew 6:9-13

 

Introduction: 

1.  We are continuing our NEW series:  Taking the Next Step: In Our Spiritual Growth of PRAYER!

- keep reminding yourself of this principle which goes along with our 2010 Church Theme:

If you’re going to make progress, you have to keep moving! . . .  keep taking steps to reach the goal of bringing glory to God by being like Jesus Christ (thinking & actions)

2. So far, we studied:

  • God’s Precautions Regarding Prayer:  What to AVOID – v. 5 - 8

- Jesus warned us about the following issues to avoid [“don’t be like ….”]:

A.  Ritualized Prayers – v. 5 (instead of being sincere (genuine), passionate, humble!!)

B.  Long Prayers – v. 5 (thinking that was more spiritual – length vs. motivation)

C.  Self-Centered Prayer (of pride; ‘hypocrisy” & a FALSE Audience:  Man instead of God)

D.  Meaningless Repetitions – v. 7 – it’s not the repetition, but “MEANINGLESS repetition”

3.  The 2nd week, our study focused on:

  • God’s Pattern for Prayer

Pattern:  “Our Father Who is in heaven”

>  “Father” (in reference to God) is reserved for believers only - spiritually, unbelievers have another “father” (John 8:44 – the devil)

>  “Our Father” has the implications to dispels FEAR //  encourages HOPE // remove LONELINESS // demand OBEDIENCE

Pattern:  “Hallowed be Thy Name”  - Jesus points out the significance of His Father’s name

*  The greatness of that name and the implications of that name that help us to glorify Him!

4.  We’re doing this because the Bible places a strong emphasis on the subject of PRAYER:

  • Jesus modeled this in His life – and if He prayed, we need to pray!

5.  The purpose of this series:

  1. To help us develop a more biblical understanding of God's purpose and goal in prayer
  2. To motivate individual believers to pray more and to pray in a more biblical manner
  3. To help us as a church family grow in our focus and practice of corporate prayer

6.  Last week our study focused on the 2nd half of Jesus’ PATTERN for prayer:

  • God’s Pattern for Prayer – Part 2

Pattern: “Thy Kingdom Come” – v. 10

- we need to recognize that Jesus is referring to . . . .a Kingdom NOT of this world

- So, when we pray, “Thy Kingdom come” we are praying for God's rule on earth to begin as Christ assumes His rightful place as THE RULER of the earth (in a literally way)

- This event is described in Revelation 20:1-3 = a literal 1,000 year reign of Christ on this earth sitting on the Throne of David (as was promised in the Davidic covenant)

Pattern:  “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…” – v. 10

- To pray, “Thy will be done” . . . means to have this understanding:

> While the Bible clearly teaches the absolute sovereignty of God, that same sovereign God commands us to pray “Thy will be done.”

- that affects the actual ‘nature’ or content of our prayers – the actual prayers we offer up to God

1.  Things we can pray for that we KNOW are God's will:  

2.  Things we can pray for that we are not certain, but still need to ask

Example:  Purdue Property purchase and “Capital Campaign’ to raise the money to build these buildings!

[Read Matt 6:5-14]

1.  Remember what it’s like to care for a body – total dependence on the part of the child!

-  Food, clothing, shelter, cleanliness

-  Similar to our relationship with God the Father – totally dependence

-  Jesus said John 15:5 “Without me you can do nothing

Point:  Just as infants desperately need the protection of their parents from harmful things, we are dependent on God to guard us from the circumstances in our lives that can hurt our spiritual walk

2.  This next aspect of our prayer focuses on a specific petition: God Provisions Through Prayer

- This specific petitions shouldn’t surprise us

3.  While this petition focuses on our personal needs – it in no way sets God aside!

-  In fact, He can be praised because He alone can meet these needs

  • Daily bread // Forgiveness // Keep us from temptation

3.  Praying for God to give us our daily bread may seem irrelevant to Americans (our abundance)

Q:  Why ask God for something you have plenty of?

A: It recognizes the SOURCE of our abundance and the REALITY that it can be taken away!

4.  So what application does this request have for us?

*  5 Key Elements of The Petition: Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread:

#1  The Request Deals with the Necessity of Life

- this is, in part, where praying for PHYSICAL needs for ourselves, family, friends, etc.

“bread” = not only represents food --  but symbolic of ALL our physical needs

-  everything necessary to preserve life!!

Point:  Physical necessities – NOT LUXURIES!! (that’s grace – in fact, it’s ALL grace!!)

-  Our Creator & God (who is infinitely holy, self-sufficient, & eternal) is interested in our physical needs!!

  • Matthew 7:7 "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.8 "For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.9 "Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone?10 "Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he?11 "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!

- there are a couple of lessons (‘take aways’ as PV puts it) from this passage:

Lesson #1:  This petition is more than just a request – it is a recognition of and an affirmation that every good gift comes from our Father.

  • James 1:17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

-  we can always thank God for His provisions!

Lesson #2:  The ‘daily bread’ is not sufficient to meet all our needs – we also need God’s Word!

- Moses wrote these words with reference to Israel:

  • Deuteronomy 8:3 "He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD.

- That leads us to our second Key Element

#2:  The Request Emphasizes the Source of Our Provision

-  We can work hard, earn the money, etc. – but we still need God to help us!

- Moses reminded Israel that God “is giving you power to make wealth.”

  • Deuteronomy 8:18 But you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

- yes, we have to work or we don’t eat, but God gives us the wisdom, strength, and even the health to maintain our jobs

- it would be wise for keep this truth in mind…

A.  Everything we have comes from God.

- Paul made that clear to the church at Corinth:

  • 1 Corinthians 4:7 For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?

- Job understood that from the beginning of his trials when his sons and daughters were killed:

  • Job 1:21 He said, ". . . The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD."

- it’s interesting that we acknowledge God when He GIVES us what we want, but what about acknowledging Him when He TAKES AWAY what we want!

B.  Do you seriously thank God for provisions?

  • Food – [Note: This is where “Meaningless Repetition” can be, a quick indifferent, duty
  • Clothes
  • Shelter
  • Health
  • Good days work – mind, health, abilities, opportunity [SOME DON”T HAVE A JOB!]

- Maybe we should remind ourselves of Paul’s words to Timothy:

  • 1 Timothy 6:8 If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.

- we also have to acknowledge that …

#3:  The Request Reveals the Heart of the Petition

give” – Reveals the need of the petitioner

- even though God may have already provided the necessity . . .

  1. We ask Him for it in recognition of His past, present, and future supply

- Paul was so confident, and under Divine inspiration, that he wrote to the church at Philippi (while he was in prison)

  • Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Q: Do you have that level of confidence when you pray?

Q: What are some wrong ways of thinking that will hinder that level of faith?

[various answers]

B.  Jesus’ instructions here and our petitions are only valid because God has promised to provide for His people.

*  We could not expect God to do what He has not promised to do.

  • Psalm 37:3 Trust in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.4 Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.
  • Psalm 37:10 Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more; And you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there.11 But the humble will inherit the land And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.
  • Psalm 37:25 I have been young and now I am old, Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken Or his descendants begging bread.

 

*QUOTE: “What you pray about is what you depend upon God for.”

- Do we depend upon God to bless our church ministry?

- Do we depend upon God for our capital campaign coming up?

- Do we depend upon God for our marriage to grow, children to be godly?

[other examples!!]

Point:  If we are, then we ought to be PRAYING about these things!!

#4:  The Request Rules out the UNRIGHTEOUS

-  this is for the “us” of Matt. 6:11 – God’s people

  • Matthew 6:11'Give us this day our daily bread.

Point:  God is committed to His people!!

- Listen to Jesus’ words in Luke 18:

  • Luke 18:29 And He said to them, "Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God,30 who will not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life."

> God under common grace… rains on just/unjust – but no promise is made to the unjust (unbelievers)

#5:  The Request takes it ONE DAY at a time!

“Give us THIS DAY” – not tomorrow

Input:  Why does Jesus emphasize this day?

- we are not promised tomorrow

Q:  Why does our culture have such a hard time with “this day” part?

Quote:  “To accept the Lord’s provisions for the present day without concern for our needs or welfare tomorrow is a testimony of our contentment in His goodness and faithfulness.” (MacArthur)

Conclusion:

1. Let’s put some of our principles into practice TODAY [James 1:22 – be DOERS of the Word]

2.  I want to lay out some specific prayers requests for our church this year and pray for each one!

3.  I’ll state the ‘request’ – we’ll give a biblical foundation for it – then go to the next one

- The following requests should be prayed for in ABF:

9.  That new persons would be made to feel welcomed and accepted, and they would become members quickly and get connected in areas of growth and service.

  • Galatians 5:13 But through love serve one another.

10.  That our discipleship ministries would be effective and reveal the evidence of spiritual growth and development (ABFs, FCI, Men/Women’s Ministries)

  • 2 Peter 3:18But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

11.  That our missionary outreach would grow stronger and our missionaries would know they are loved, appreciated, and supported.

  • Matthew 28:19"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations . . .

12.  That our influence in our community would be positive and honoring to Christ.

  • Matthew 5:16 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

Faith Church