By Micheal Koontz
Pastor, Pine Ridge Baptist Church, Harriman
One of the most difficult things in ministry, for me, is taking care of myself. One aspect of that is prayer. Praying for myself doesn’t happen as it should. I think that could be said of many of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Our Scripture passages show us the incredible benefits for ourselves and those around us as we exercise this privilege of including ourselves in our prayers.
When the people of Galilee were told to pray for their daily bread (Matthew 6:11), it was a real need that was heavy on their hearts. They were a poor people and food was difficult to come by. Most of us in America do not understand what that is like.
We have stores with enough food to feed thousands at any given time. But we are not just praying for a meal, but the things we need to continue to live. Food, shelter, clothing … our ‘daily bread’ to keep us going. God cares about all of these physical needs. Remember what Jesus did during His earthly ministry. He met numerous physical needs. He was busy healing bodies that were broken and He fed those who were hungry. Pray and ask God to provide what we need.
Matthew 6:11 also says “this day.” Ask God to provide for today. Every morning we should spend time in prayer. If I wait till bedtime to pray, I have missed out on the opportunity for “this day.”
I love the example of provision in Matthew 17:27. A tax was due for Peter and Jesus. Jesus told Peter to go fishing and the first fish you catch will have a coin in the mouth to pay the tax. As we live in God’s will for our lives, He will provide for today.
Hezekiah prayed for himself in Isaiah 38:3. Because he was faithful to pray, those around Hezekiah were blessed as well. Hezekiah’s request wasn’t a selfish request. Hezekiah wanted to please God. He had a burden for the people and wanted to continue to serve in the spiritual restoration of the nation.
God knew his heart on this matter and He would give Hezekiah fifteen more years of life and would also save Jerusalem from the Assyrian army (Isaiah 38:5-6).
God has a great purpose for each one of us. He wants to bless you, and those in your life through you. That’s an awesome deal for us. We have the honor of being God’s conduit of blessings.
No matter the outcome of our prayers, we should always take comfort in the salvation provided through Jesus. Christian, eternal life is awaiting us.
God has already provided all that we need for eternity. Perhaps today, you need to accept that provision and ask Jesus to be your Savior.
Pray for yourself and others daily. God is waiting to hear from you right now.
Prayer is one of the best ways to love others to Jesus! B&R