• Matt Beaney

#662. GIVE US TODAY… (5/10/22)

This week, following on from Sunday’s final message in our Devoted, vision series, we are considering how we can learn to be devoted to prayer by studying what Jesus teaches us in ‘The Lord’s Prayer’.


Summary: Praying for 'daily bread' honours God as our provider, reminds us of our dependence, and it also leads to the provision of our needs.


‘They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.’ (Acts 2:42-47)
“This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” (Matthew 6:9-13)

As we have seen, The Lord’s prayer can be broke down into 4 major themes of Praise (6:9) , Petitions (6:10-11), Peace-making (Matthew 6:12) and Protection (Matthew 6:13). Today we will continue to look at the second phrase and theme: PETITIONS.


PETITIONS: “…Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. ”


In our last devotional, we considered the phrase, “Your kingdom come, your will be done…” today we are going to think about what it means to pray, “Give us today our daily bread.”


Recently, a number of events have shaken many of us awake: The Covid 19 pandemic; the war in Ukraine; escalating energy costs along with a steep rise in inflation and interest rates; a dramatic change of prime minister and the death of The Queen… have conspired to give many a sense of insecurity. Too often we require a shock in order to pray and trust God in an active manner. Jesus, however, has designed prayer in such a way that everyday, we are reminded of such things as our reliance on God for our basic necessities; “Give us today our daily bread” is to be a daily petition and expression of trust and humility.


Presumption of God’s provision is not love and faith. Prayer and thankfulness are expressions of love and faith. Believing in hard work and diligence is not honouring to God unless it is accompanied by prayer and thankfulness to God as our provider. “Give us today our daily bread” is about praying for the everyday needs that we have - nothing is too small! It’s an opportunity to pray for the needs of others. It’s a moment when we can intercede for the government to be wise in the way that it handles the economy.


Prayer is also an opportunity to hear and respond to God. As we pray for the material needs of others, perhaps the Holy Spirit would want you to be the answer to your prayer! Is there a form of ‘daily bread’ that you could give to someone?


RESPONSE

i. Let’s make it a habit, at the beginning of each day, to include praying for ‘daily bread’ for ourselves and others whom the Father puts on our hearts. Let's persevere in praying for needs: do you or someone you know need a job? Pray! Is there need of healing? Pray! Do you want a promotion? Pray! Do you want a door to open? Pray... Never give up!

ii. Let’s notice God’s provision and be thankful. Let’s begin every meal with a prayer of thanks.

iii. Pray for every need and pray for things that you would like. Your Father loves you and He gives good gifts to His children. James encourages us to pray for provision, but to do so with self-reflection:

‘…You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.’ (James 4:2-3)

Here is a great song on the theme of prayer:


 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY

1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

 

2. Icebreaker

It's been a while since most of our groups have met and some will be new to your groups. I encourage you to spend time catching up and praying for one another. Perhaps you might want to discuss things that you can celebrate and things for which you would like God's help.

 

3. Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group


On Sunday, we finished our vision series, Devoted. This series has been based upon what we see modelled in the early church from Acts 2:


‘They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.’ (Acts 2:42-47)

We have considered how God wants us to be a church that is devoted to:

i. The apostles teaching (devoted to learning from scripture).

ii. Fellowship (devoted to being 'family on purpose' which requires dedication and time).

iii. Breaking bread (Eating together and remembering the gospel through Communion).

iv. Prayer (Devoted to being a praying community).


This is God's vision for any local church and He wants all of us to be devoted to this.

On Sunday we were encouraged that 'prayer is taught and caught'.


i. PRAYER IS TAUGHT

We learn to pray through teaching, reading good books, and, most importantly, by reading what the Bible has to say about prayer.


ii. PRAYER IS CAUGHT

We learn to pray and teach others to pray by praying together. In a family, in a Community Group, in church prayer meetings... we learn from others.


RESPONSE

  1. I encourage you to read the blogs this week. These are focussed on learning to pray by using The Lord's Prayer as a model.

  2. Let's, all of us, be as devoted to the church prayer meeting on Sunday evening as we can be. You will not regret the benefit that comes from this.


DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

i) Did you feel that God spoke to you from any particular aspect of Sunday's message?

ii) Which of the four aspects of devotion from Acts 2 do you find most difficult and why?

iii) Our reading from Acts 2:42-47 speaks of church growth. Why will the church grow if we are devoted to these things?


SIV - Do you have any encouraging stories of sharing your faith with your friends?

SIV - How do you plan to 'serve, invest and invite' into your friendships?

SIV - Let's pray for the Spirit to lead us in reaching our community.





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