Monday, November 05, 2007

Give Us Our Daily Bread

"Two things I ask of you, O LORD;
do not refuse me before I die:
Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches
but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, `Who is the LORD?'
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God. (Proverbs 30:7-9)

A few years ago, we heard a great deal about the prayer of Jabez, a small prayer tucked away and forgotten by many in 1 Chronicles 4. A similarly obscure prayer is that of Agur son of Jakeh, hidden away in Proverbs 30. I find this prayer one of the wisest in Scripture. First, Agur asked that God would grant him the ability to live in integrity; that falsehood and lies would be far from him. This is my prayer for The Voice of the Martyrs as well. May we never be found to be guilty of exaggeration or as some in the media say, not letting the truth get in the way of a good story. Our call is to represent and speak on behalf of the persecuted with integrity. I hope you have found this to characterize us.

The second request was that he would be enabled to live in such a way that he would be continually reminded that God is his source for his daily bread. Verse 8 is reminiscent of Jesus' words in Matthew 6 when he instructed His followers to pray, "Give us this day our daily bread." This prayer reminds us that everything we have comes from the hands of our loving Father. Agur asks that God would provide him with what he needs so that he will not be tempted to bring dishonour to God by seeking to find his provision elsewhere. But surprisingly, he also asks that God would not give him too much so that he would not be tempted to forget God and believe that he is not dependent upon Him.

For the past several years, we at The Voice of the Martyrs have enjoyed God's care as we have seen Him meet our needs as a ministry. How easy it is to begin to coast and take His provision for granted. Recently, our leadership team has been struck by this fact and asked God to keep us mindful of our dependency upon Him. Donations have been down over the past couple of months and we realize that we have not been praying as we ought for our "daily bread." In His love, the Father has reminded us that all we are and have comes from Him.

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