Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Prayer That Turned The World Upside Down - Session 5 - Give Us This Day - God's Abundant Physical Provisions

The Church of Divine Guidance Sunday Morning Adult Bible Study Group studying the book Prayer That Turned The World Upside Down: The Lord's Prayer as a Manifesto for Revolution by R. Albert Mohler, The President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

The Lord’s Prayer is the most powerful prayer in the Bible, taught by Jesus to those closest to him. We desperately need to relearn its power and practice.

The opening words of the Lord’s Prayer have become so familiar that we often speak them without a thought, sometimes without any awareness that we are speaking at all. But to the disciples who first heard these words from Jesus, the prayer was a thunderbolt, a radical new way to pray that changed them and the course of history.

Far from a safe series of comforting words, the Lord’s Prayer makes extraordinary claims, topples every earthly power, and announces God’s reign over all things in heaven and on earth. Study along with us by getting a copy of the book by clicking this LINK or the image of the book in the study notes. 

Up to this point, the Lord’s Prayer has revealed a great deal about the  character of God. We have seen that for those who are in Christ, God is a caring Father. Jesus emphasized God’s transcendence and omnipotence by observing that he is “in heaven.”

He established the worth of God and the value of his glory by teaching that God's name should be hallowed. Finally, Jesus emphasizes that God is king—the sovereign Lord who will bring his kingdom to every corner of the earth.

Give Us This Day

He now instructs His disciples to ask that God provide for us.  This request is an acknowledgement that we are dependent on God as our provider.

Matthew 6:11 NIV - Give us today our daily bread.

The petition “give us this day our daily bread” reminds us of our dependence on God for even the most fundamental needs of life. Jesus in this model of prayer points out the difference in the Creator ant the creature. God’s name is to be hallowed in heaven.  We, on the other hand, are incapable of even getting basic sustenance without his help. Jesus teaches us to exalt God while humbling ourselves.
God is our Creator and He designed humans to be dependent. From the moment of birth, we rely on the kindness of others to meet our needs. We need our parents to feed us, dress us, and even train us to sleep. Even as we grow older, we remain tremendously needy. We depend on others for relationships.

He knew that Adam needed help in order to accomplish the command to subdue the earth.

Genesis 1:26-28 NIV - Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”  So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.  God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

We need communities in which to live and work. We depend on the government for safety and security.

Romans 13:4 NIV -  For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.

1 Peter 2:13-14, 17 NIV -  Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.

The Apostle Paul even says that we should pray for our government leaders.

 1 Timothy 2:1-2 NIV - I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

We have no sufficiency in and of ourselves, and we delude ourselves by believing we can be truly independent of others.

The church is a place or community of people which when functioning in the love of Christ is a place populated by people who support each other.

  Acts 4:32-35 NIV - All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

 Hebrews 10:24-25 NIV - And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.


Before the fall mankind depended on God to provide but there was always surplus and abundance so there was no need to ask for Him to provide because there was nothing disturbing the relationship.

After the fall however their experience was quite different, as is ours today. Our default experience is no longer abundance but scarcity. Food must be produced by the sweat of our brow, and its existence is never certain.

Genesis 3:17-19 NIV -  To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.  It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.  By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

Since the fall there are no guarantees. With regard to food there are droughts, disease, insects, etc.  There are financial disasters.

Thus, after the fall we become even more dependent on God for our daily sustenance. We are no longer merely creatures in need of provision; we are sinners in need of the Creator’s mercy.

We talked about God being the Father of those who have become part of His family through Christ. In our prayer we acknowledge that He is our Father, and as our Father He provides for our physical needs.

Matthew 7:9-11 NIV - “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Earlier in our study we emphasized the fact that in this prayer the petitions are not for self only but for others.

The first-person singular (I, me, my, mine) is completely absent from the Lord’s Prayer. Evidently, prayer should not center on you or me.

Jesus did however recognize the need for physical resources. Asking that God provide for physical needs is not unspiritual.  People who teach that we should not be concerned about our physical needs being met are suspect.  I don't mean obsessing about physical comfort I’m talking about our needs.

Our lives are not divided between spiritual activities and earthly activities, but both spiritual and secular activities are to be to the glory of God. 

German theologian Helmut Thielicke once described the horrors of World War II and explained that one of the most terrible realities of the war was widespread deprivation and starvation. He reminded his readers that we should never undervalue physical needs, observing that a hyper-spiritual theology that ignores physical needs has never had to come face-to-face with the horrors of deprivation.

In asking that God provide our daily bread Jesus is saying that God is concerned about everything that affects us from our ability to eat to our greatest needs.  The emphasis is on need.

The Bible Eve tells us that we should help each other.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Philippians 2:3-4 NIV

If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
1 John 3:17-18 NIV

This word shows us that we ought not pray for opulence and riches, only for the needs of the day. Further, this word teaches us to pray for our needs every day, seeking God’s provision in our life hour by hour. In sum, the word daily here teaches us to train our hearts to depend consistently on God, rather than just in times of need.


There is an example of daily provision in God providing for the Hebrews while the sinned and grumbled in the wilderness for 40 years.

Exodus 16:4-7 NIV -  Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.”  So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you will know that it was the Lord who brought you out of Egypt, and in the morning you will see the glory of the Lord , because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we, that you should grumble against us?”

God knows exactly how much to provide.

 Exodus 16:5, 17-18 NIV - On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.”  The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed.

He not only provided food and protection but their clothes didn't ever wear out.

Deuteronomy 8:4 NIV - Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years.

We can be sure, as God’s children, that He will provide for us today.  God may not provide for us in the way that we think is best. But we will always find that he provides for us according to his infinite love and care.


Thoughts from Mohler:

This passage teaches us that God designed physical needs to point to our deeper spiritual needs. Our need for daily physical sustenance is a faint echo of our daily need of spiritual sustenance and satisfaction from God.

  Deuteronomy 8:3 NIV - But humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord .

The only way that we will taste the goodness of God’s provision is by living according to what comes from the mouth of God. This is why Jesus regularly referred to himself as the “bread of life,” the true man sent from heaven

John 6:35 NIV -  Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

He is God’s ultimate provision for our spiritual lives.
Each day, as we pray for our daily bread, we should be reminded of our daily need for Christ to forgive our sins and empower us for obedience. Each time we pray for daily bread, we should recognize our deeper need for the bread of life—the only one who can truly satisfy.

Bible Study Audio

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