Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
In His prayer in Matthew 6:9-13, Jesus modeled how we are to pray for our own interests. First, we ought to pray that God would take care of our daily needs: “Give us this day our daily bread” (v. 11). The term “daily bread” refers to all our needs: food, water, clothing, shelter. If you have a home and a pantry full of food, it might seem disingenuous to pray, “Give us our daily bread.” But the truth is, our situation is more tenuous than we realize. Think about it: What would a job loss, divorce, lawsuit, cancer diagnosis, or world war do to your circumstances? We are more dependent upon God than we possibly understand. Deuteronomy 8:18 says, “You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth.” It is God who gives us the strength to get up every morning and work to provide for our families. Everything we have comes ultimately from God.
Second, pray that God would forgive you and make you a forgiver. Matthew 6:12 says, “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Yes, God declared us not guilty the moment we trusted Christ as Savior. Our position with God is eternally secure, but we still need that daily forgiveness so we can be in a right relationship with God. In 1 John 1:9, the apostle wrote, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” That verse was written to Christians. We need to ask God’s forgiveness.
Finally, pray for God to protect you from temptation. Verse 13 says, “Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Now, James 1:13 says God “does not tempt anyone.” So what did Jesus mean by “do not lead us into temptation”? Well, God does not send temptation into your life, but He does send trials into your life. James also said, “Consider it all joy . . . when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance” (vv. 2-3). James used the same Greek root word, “peirasmos,” for both “trials” and “tempt.” It simply refers to a difficult situation. God can use a difficult situation as a test to strengthen your faith, but Satan can use that same situation as a temptation to destroy your faith.
Imagine a student saying to a teacher, “If it is all the same to you, I would like to skip my final exam, because there is the possibility that I could fail. But if I do have to go through this exam, please help me to pass it.” That is how we are to pray: “Lord, keep me away from difficult circumstances, because there is a possibility I could fail the test. But if I do go through a difficulty, if that is part of Your plan, deliver me from making the wrong choice.”
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Straight Talk About Your Prayer Life” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2022.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org