Luke 11 Teach Us to Pray – Part 3
While in the Army, I had the distinct honor of being an Infantry Squad Leader. A Squad Leader is responsible for 2-3 teams that equal from 9-12 men. The size is generally 9 men, but can bolster up to 11 or 12 with the addition of a weapons team, augmented to the squad. Routinely, a Platoon Leader or Company Commander would select such squad for special missions that would separate the squad from the main company for days at a time.
This limited the team on resources and causes special security considerations. In order to properly function and successfully complete the mission, with all personal alive and well, a lot of planning had to go into effect. All of the resources, including; Ammo, food, water, transportation, medical emergencies and other contingencies, came from the resources of the Company Commander. A squad by themselves would be left dependent on the resupply and emergency coordination’s planned out, prior to the separation of the units. Failure to make these coordination’s, and the necessary planning involved, could be fatal to both units.
Squad Leaders and their team leaders take the orders of the commander and analyze his intent. They then study the terrain, perform risk assessments and measure up the possibilities of success and failure. They inventory their on-hand equipment, ammunitions, and weapons. They look at the mission’s risk assessment and identify specialized equipment that may be needed to overcome obstacles and to give the squad the necessary tools needed in order minimize the risk, and to ensure mission success. Then they present these finds to the commander and request the supplies and resources needed that the squad does not have. The commander looks over the plan, and the requests and provides needed feedback and resources. The commander does this to protect the squad and to ensure their best possible chance of success. A good commander will not hold back anything that the squad needs in order to minimize friendly casualties, and ensure success. However, the Squad Leader must make the request.
Coming from a military background, this is the importance of Luke 11:3.
Give us day by day our daily bread. (Luke 11:3)
This is more than just asking God for food. This is a recognition that everything we need is supplied through His grace. He is the source of our existence. Without his provisions in life we would not be successful in our mission for His kingdom. Just like a soldier needs daily provisions of food, water, and routine ammunitions and medical supplies, so to do we, as children of God need our daily provision.
We should not wait until we have an emergency. We should analyze what our needs are and request the spiritual and physical resources we need on a daily basis. Recognition of our needs keep us humble and submissive to the Spirit. Matthew 6:33 tells us that we should seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. What things? The things are your daily needs and provisions like food, and water, and shelter. These are the things that are provided to everyone. “That ye may be the children of your Father which in in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just an on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45). What we should be seeking are the things that are not provided to just everyone. We should be looking in to our communities and into our surroundings.
How do we fulfill the mission that was given to us for the Kingdom? What do you need to be successful in bringing the Kingdom of Heaven to those who are around you? What provisions do you need to be a good and faithful servant? What do you need to overcome to provide a good witness to those who are watching and listening to you and your life? What daily nourishment do you need? Some provisions I know we all need are:
- Guidance of the Holy Spirit
- Spiritual Disciple
- Daily Reading of Scripture
- Teaching in Scripture
- Personal Relationship growth with Jesus
These are just a few off the top of my head. I am sure that as you sit and analyze your lifestyle, that you can get a more detailed and personalized list. These are the things you need to be successful. These are the things you need to be asking for. Yes you can still ask for healings, and financial security and all of the other things that we need to survive while here in this earth. However; the focus of your prayers should not be selfishly motivated. The focus on your prayers should be on things on the kingdom of Heaven.
We are just passing though. In truth we do not know if we will be here the next day or not. Psalm 144:4 puts it this way, “Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow.” We should be mindful that our days here are numbered and that we only have a little bit of time to perform out tasks here on this earth.
More importantly, the days of those who are lost are numbered also. They are like a vapor that is here one moment and then gone. How selfish are we to spend this little bit of time seeking to pray for only our own needs when so many are dying all around us? You see our Father knows the importance of our mission. He wants us to be successful. The Lord wants all men to come to repentance. He does not want anyone to die. He is patient and long suffering for our benefit. Everything He does is oriented to saving the lost. Shouldn’t we have the same heart?
We can also be secure in knowing that the provisions we ask for will be provided. While Jesus was here on the earth, he never turned anyone away who needed his provisions. He did not measure by race, religion, ethnic background, gender, or age. In fact if you look back at the Old Testament, you will see how God continuously provided for his people. He provided them security to grow to a nation, even under bondage in Egypt. He provided food and water to a rebellious people in the wilderness. He gave them strength and resources to conquer the promised land. He led them throughout their history by:
- A pillar of fire
- His voice
- His commandments
- The Messiah
God has always provided. Even in the Christian faith the Lord has provided. He has led the church to overcome.
- False Doctrines
We can have confidence in looking back in what He has done for us. We have been delivered from sicknesses, addictions, diseases, natural disasters, other hazardous events and relationships, even death itself, in some cases. The Lord provides what we need every day.
So we pray for our daily bread knowing that the one we ask is who provides our daily bread. We then have a greater understanding of the goodness of our Father, that even though in times past, when we did not ask for it he gave it. We know that even though we were His enemy, that he loved us so much that he provided not only the daily things we needed to live, but; He did so to give us the chance to receive the salvation that he already provided for us in Jesus Christ. We ask because we seek Him, of whom all blessings flow from. We ask because we believe in Him, and in his Son. We ask because we understand that our very existence is dependent upon His grace.