Sunday, December 31, 2006

Today and Daily

Do you ever get that feeling that your prayers are becoming a little one-sided? Sometimes I feel that I never stop asking for things in my prayers. As I pondered this for a while, I decided to go back to one of our chief models for prayer to see what I could learn.

The Lord's Prayer is one of the most concise pieces of the theology. You can study it, and study it, and the nuggets just keep falling out. Specific to my current concern I focused on the single phrase:
Give us this day our daily bread.
So direct, and what a full sentence. We are to ask for our needs to be met, but we ask for them for today. Not for tomorrow, or all week, or the ambiguous future, but today.

Just like with a genie you can't ask for more wishes. No fair asking for enough bread for all time. You ask for what you need now, today. The bread should be daily, continually, consistently.

As I considered the impact of this on my own life, I realized that there are aspects of this that weren't immediately apparent. By asking for today, and only today, we give ourselves opportunity to come back again tomorrow. If we truly seek relationship then we desire to come back daily. But because we are human and flawed, it doesn't hurt to have the incentive, the reason if you will.

When we ask for our current needs to be met, we acknowledge our dependence now and continually. We build into our habits and lifestyle, a recurring reminder of the nature of our relationship.

It was also worth noting that we aren't asking for our daily riches, our daily extravagance, our daily luxury. We are only asking for our bread, our needs. The daily continual praying is for needs. There is a time and place to address our wants, I believe, but that's a completely different phrase in this prayer. ;-)

Are your prayer habits what you'd like them to be?

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