Tuesday, October 25, 2016

“A Child’s Prayer"

"A Child's Prayer"

     "God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food.  By His hand, we all are fed, give us Lord our daily bread, Amen."

    I suspect that many of us prayed this prayer, or a form of it, as children.  I did, and while I don't pray these words as an adult, I do think the simple offering presents profound Biblical truth to our hearts and minds.

    "Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised" (Psalm 48:1).
    "Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good" (Psalm 135:3).
    "O give thanks unto the Lord, call upon His name" (Psalm 105:1).
    "Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing" (Psalm 145:16).
    "Give us this day our daily bread" (Matthew 6:11).

    The prayer first directs us to our Lord's ability - "God is great" - and to His willingness - "God is good".   Both truths must form and inform our confidence in the Lord.  Indeed, if God desired to act on our behalf, but did not possess the power, He could not be trusted.  If He had the power, but not the willingness, again, He could not be trusted.  Thankfully, "God is great, God is good".  He is both willing and able to be for us what we need Him to be, namely, the Giver of "every good gift, and every perfect gift" (James 1:17).

    These truths call us to gratitude - "Let us thank Him for our food".  We express this appreciation not as ritual, but as reality.  Spiritual understanding and sanity beckons us to realize the truth that regardless of how hard and how much we may work in order to eat, the true Source of every morsel originates in our Heavenly Father.  "My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).  We play our role in the matter - "if any should not work, neither should he eat" - but we do so as the stewards of God's good grace that provides the motivation, wisdom, and energy for labor as we look to Him (II Thessalonians 3:10).  We give thanks accordingly, both for our food, and the heart fulfilling effort whereby we obtain and prepare our "daily bread".

   "We all are fed".  Food is God's gift to "every living thing".  We will never meet a human being whose sustenance does not proceed from his Creator and Sustainer.  Human beings - all of us - exist as the supplicants of God.  We may or may not know it.  But nothing changes the truth that if the Lord ever purposed to withhold His provision, we would immediately embark upon an involuntary crash diet.  This is important to remember as we seek to lead people to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  They exist as His beneficiaries, and it is not a bad idea to look a person in the eyes and say it respectfully, but directly, as the need demands.  "Friend, you've never eaten a morsel of food that did not grace your palate and belly as the gift of your Creator."

    "Give us this day our daily bread."  We do well to responsibly plan for tomorrow.  The Bible calls us to such preparation (Proverbs 24:30-34).  We do so, however, in the knowledge that the day in which we live is the only guaranteed earthly moment we have.  Moreover, we also realize that the Maker of this day is also its Source and Sustenance.  Thus, we seek the bread of now, from the great I AM.  We plan for tomorrow, but we do so in faith rather than fear.  This Truth enables us to enjoy God's provision for today, keeping our hearts focused on His present supply and our present responsibility to acknowledge and express appreciation for what we have in hand.  "Now thanks be unto God" (II Corinthians 2:14).

   "Amen."  So be it.  We can be sure of God's provision.  We cannot be so sure of our own acknowledgment thereof.  So, we encourage and challenge each other to remember, to realize, to rejoice, and to respond with praise and thanksgiving.  A child's prayer taught this Truth to many of us long ago.  It's light still shines, and will for as long as God remains faithful, and those who look to Him bow with simple, but profound offerings of gratitude.  "God is great, God is good…"

"What hast Thou that thou didst not receive?"
(I Corinthians 4:7)
"Suffer the little children to come unto Me... for of such is the kingdom of God."
(Mark 4:10)

Weekly Memory Verse
     Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering, for He is faithful that promised.
(Hebrews 10:23)

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