In this article we continue working our way through the gospel of Luke and specifically the Lord's Prayer found in Luke 11:1-4. And we pick up where we left off last week on third verse in Luke's version of our Lord's Prayer concerning the petition, "Give us each day our daily bread."

We looked at how God is our gracious provider of all that we have and thus we are to be humble and dependent upon Him and to remember the needs of others. Now we proceed to our final three points.

IV. We Are To Desire God More Than God's Gift

When we pray, "Give us each day our daily bread," we declare our desire to enjoy the temporal blessings of this life only with God's favor. One of the blessings of asking for daily provision is the reminder that it's God who gives that provision and that He Himself is the Giver of the gift.

Why? Because we can find ourselves, in praying for temporal things, wanting the thing that we pray for more than we want God, desiring the thing we pray for more than we desire God, seeking our satisfaction in the gift that we're asking for rather than in the Giver who gives it. And there are occasions in this life when we're forced to choose between the gift and the Giver and our hearts are revealed then.

Isn't that what Habakkuk was all about when he was saying what he said in Habakkuk chapter 3? Let's turn this prayer around and follow Habakkuk chapter 3 and use it so that we might pray for our desire to be found in the Giver and not just in the gift. Let's pray.

Lord, as we pray for our daily bread, we're reminded that we want You and need You more than any temporal blessing that You could possibly provide. Lord, it's good to have children, it's good to have work, it's good to have a home, it's good to have a roof over our heads and clothes on our backs and food in our stomachs, but there is nothing more important in this world than You. And our satisfaction is found in You above all other things. So even if the fig tree does not blossom, even if there is no fruit on the vine, even if the labor of the olive fails and the fields yield no crops and the flock is cut off from the fold and there are no herd in the stall and even if the markets plunge and wealth is lost, yet let us have the grace to rejoice in You, the Lord, and to joy in the God of our salvation and to say, "Though He slay me, yet will I praise Him." O Lord, give us our daily bread, but give us Yourself for we do not want the bread without the Giver. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

V. We Should Have Gratitude In Our Hearts Because Everything God Provides Is A Gift

But this prayer also helps us in gratitude, doesn't it? When we pray, "Give us each day our daily bread," we're looking to God for provision of every blessing, temporal and spiritual. And that ought to drive us to what to gratitude. If He's the One who's given every blessing, whether it's spiritual or temporal, then we ought to be constantly grateful. God constantly gives. In fact, Micah tells us that "He delights in giving." And He even gives good things to His enemies. Jesus says that "it rains on the just and the unjust."

If God gives good gifts and if He gives all gifts, temporal and spiritual, then we ought to be grateful in our prayers. Let's do that together and go to the Lord using His Word and seek to cultivate gratitude in our hearts. Let's pray.

Our Heavenly Father, when we pray, "Give us each day our daily bread," we acknowledge that every blessing that we have ever received has come from You. And therefore our hearts ought to be filled with thankfulness and gratitude. Lord, so often they are not and we confess that sin. Lord, make us a grateful people that are recognizably thankful. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.

VI. We Should Be Content With The Gifts And Blessings That God Gives Us

One last thing - this prayer helps us to cultivate contentment. One of the great challenges of life in a consumer society is looking over there and seeing somebody that has something that you don't have and wanting it. We think of ourselves as consumers, we live in a consumer society, and so we constantly struggle with a lack of contentment because somebody has something that we want but don't have. And this prayer, prayed rightly, cultivates contentment with God's provision.

Now, you understand that the language here is not the language of stinginess, it's that the Lord would supply what we need. In praying for our daily bread we're not necessarily asking to become rich, but we are asking for enough for what we need, for what we require, for what is necessary, and we're asking Him to continue His blessing on us and to provide for every need. And our ability to be content will be in direct proportion to our trust in the Lord's goodness and faithfulness and frankly His generosity in His provision.

You know if we're always out there thinking that we deserve it and He's not given it, what we're saying is we don't think He is good and faithful and generous. Now this prayer helps us correct that by pointing us to the goodness, faithfulness, and generosity of God. So let's turn it around and pray it to Him in that light.

Our Lord, one of the great enemies of our contentment is a worldly mindset that links our happiness with consuming the maximum amount of stuff. But we can even look around us and see what happens to the hearts and lives of spoiled people. And so we pause right now to thank You that You are so good and You're so faithful and You're so generous but You don't spoil us because You love us. Very often You give us not what we want, but what we need; not what we think we need, but what we really need. And sometimes You give us what we need but we have to wait for it for awhile. And in all of this we acknowledge that You're not stingy, You're lavish in the way You give. You're loving in the way You give. You're good and faithful to us. So help us Lord to be content with what You have provided and to resist thinking that satisfaction and joy in this life comes from stuff. We ask this in Jesus' name.

So if we take Jesus' petition, "Give us each day our daily bread," and we turn it around to the Lord using the language of the Bible in prayer, we learn humility and dependence and gratitude and generosity and contentment and to put our desire in the right place. May the Lord teach us to pray.