Give us today our daily bread. (Matt. 6:11)
Today's article continues with Matthew 6:11, about how to pray for your needs. Last week, I delved into what this verse means scripturally, but this week I will talk on what it mans practically. Click HERE for Part 1 of this article. Today, I'm going to challenge you to do some exercises that will help you with this part of the Lord's Prayer. My hope is that they will help you get beyond the day to day needs and dream big with God. (By the way, to read past articles I've written in this series, click HERE.)
I have found many people get stuck on asking for "finished" blessings, rather than the means for that blessing. Sometimes, God gives us, what I refer to as "God kits," that is, the creative provision of jobs, ideas, opportunities, problems, and people to meet the needs we have. He is faithful to give us the answers, but it's up to us to actively engage.
The more I dialogue with God about my needs and ask for His provision, the more He is willing to give me the answers in unique ways. For example, I prayed for the money to send my girls to college and God gave me a second job that allowed us to get them through without debt. Another time I prayed for a depth of relationship with Him so that I would be loved and guided every day by Him. He opened up the word of God in ways that are so personal, so clear, and so tender that it has changed my decision-making process, my ideas, and ultimately, has changed my life as He has pulled me close. On another occasion, I prayed that God would take my marriage to the next level of intimacy and joy, and God has provided a sweetness between my wife and I that is one of the most awesome things in my world.
Yes, this takes writing, praying, talking, thinking, dialoguing with God, and sometimes help from others in formulating what you think you need to live the life God has planned for you. There is often so much potential that God has for us that we never even explore. Reach out and dream with God! Ask Him, "What do you want me to go after, Lord, and what will I need to do that?"
In your quiet time this week, do one or more of these exercises to start dreaming big with God and to witness the creative ways He brings about provision.
What is the ideal life that God would want you to be living in 5 years? Describe it relationally. Yes, you will have some selfish things written down when you start this exercise, but as you go over and over each relationship, you will begin to describe positive, righteous, and godly ideals. Keep praying, keep talking, keep working this out with God.
If God were going to use your life as an example of a miracle, what would your life look like in 5 years? This is an opportunity to dream big with God. When you look out 5 years, you suspend your "how" question, because it is too far out there to have to know. The honest answer is that you don't know how God is going to do this -- you are just talking about your needs if your life is being maximized in a righteous way.
In each of the 9 relationships in life, write our 20 specifics for each category if it were to be ideal 5 years from now. This will really stretch you into thinking, praying, and dreaming with God.
Marriage Family Work
Finances God Friends
Church Society Self
I hope you will do some of these things and then connect with me on this. I would love to hear about some of your plans and ideals that you and God have for your life. Feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, your greatest life is just ahead.
In His service,
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The Fruit of the Spirit explained simply and with relevance for today.
Find out what God is asking from you when He tells you to "be loving" or "practice joy" or "be peaceful," and so on to the people in your life. Get ready to experience life change, deeper relationships, greater success, and more joy. You won't want to miss this one! This book comes with video commentaries from Dr. Gil that accompany each chapter, easily accessible from your smart phone or electronic device.