Study 5 PRAYING FOR DAILY NEEDS
PRAYING ALWAYS WITH ALL PRAYER
by Francis Dixon
(Scripture Portion: Matthew 6:25-34)
This study will appeal to everyone. If it were possible to say, “I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing” (Revelation 3:17), then this subject would be of no interest. The condition of every human being is “I am poor and needy…” (Psalm 40:17). Every day we are being pressed on all sides with urgent needs, which if they do not directly concern us they most certainly have to do with those around us; and, in the providence of God, it is by using the weapon of “all prayer” (Ephesians 6:18, KJV) that we are at once able to bring all our needs to God, who promises that if we will pray He will meet them.
In the model prayer which Jesus gave His disciples we have the petition, “Give us today our daily bread…” (Matthew 6:11), which clearly indicates that the Lord wants us to pray for all our daily needs, however great or small they may be. Spiritual needs? Yes, but material needs too, and it is quite clear in this verse that He wants us to bring those material needs to Him. Notice:-
1. We all have daily needs.
Whoever we may be, whatever our age or situation in life, we are constantly in need, and three things may be said:
- 1. They are innumerable in their variety. It is quite impossible to enumerate them as there are so many. These daily needs have to do with our bodies, our health, our homes, our loved ones, our jobs, our friends etc. etc.
- 2. They are immeasurable in their intensity. How very great some of them are! They suddenly present themselves and become urgent!
- 3. They never cease. As soon as one need has been met another one is revealing itself. We shall never reach any state here on earth when we shall be able to say, ‘I haven’t any need!’
2. Our heavenly Father knows all about our daily needs.
Read Matthew 6:8 and 32. The Lord knew all about Israel’s need of bread (Exodus 16:35); of clothes (Deuteronomy 29:5); and of water (Numbers 20:11), and He supplied the need in each case. These were material things, and He promises to supply our material needs. He knew of Elijah’s need, and supplied it (1 Kings 17:3-6); of the widow’s need, and supplied it (1 Kings 17:9-16); of the need at Cana, and supplied it (John 2:1-11); of the need of the five thousand, and fed them (Matthew 14:15-21); of the need of His disciples when they had been fishing, and He supplied it (John 21:5-12) – and He knows all about your need and mine.
3. The Lord is ready and willing to meet all our daily needs.
Notice the words in Matthew 6:8, “…before you ask him”, and meditate upon Philippians 4:19, not missing the significance of one single word. See also Matthew 6:26-28; 10:29-30; Psalm 34:10 and 50:10. What is your need at this moment? The Lord knows all about it and He is ready, waiting and wanting to meet that need if you will bring it to Him – Luke 11:9!
4. The Lord’s supply of our needs is often dependent upon our asking.
There are many needs not met in your life and mine for the simple reason that we do not pray – look up the last seven words in James 4:2. How very challenging they are! It is only as we ask that we receive, and time and time again we do not receive for the simple reason that we do not ask. Let us admit it, let us rectify our mistake and confess our sin, and let us seek to bring our needs to the Throne of Grace where the Lord will delight to hear and answer our prayers.
5. The Lord encourages us to pray for our daily needs.
He is so anxious that we should prove His sufficiency and gain His help in every situation of need, that the Lord has packed the Bible full of encouragements and incentives to pray. For instance, He has given us examples of men and women who prayed and received answers to their prayers, and He has given us promises without number, all of which should encourage us to come humbly before Him with our needs and to trust Him to meet our needs.
6. His method of supplying our needs in answer to prayer is varied.
Sometimes He gives a direct answer, as He did to Elijah on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:36-38), but usually He gives an indirect answer. He answers the prayers of His people for their daily needs through other people – He uses means. Look up and compare Acts 2:45; 4:34-35; Romans 12:13; 16:1-2; Ephesians 4:28; James 2:13-16; 1 John 3:17.
7. The Lord always gives us over and above our actual need.
Our God is a liberal, bountiful God, as Ephesians 3:20 assures us. He guarantees to meet our need – not our wants (Philippians 4:19); but He always gives more than we need and He always gives what is best for us. We could live on bread, but most of us have jam on our bread, even in these days!
GIVE US EACH DAY OUR DAILY BREAD…” (Luke 11:2-3)