ASK GOD FOR OUR NEEDS
“Daily needs and desires point beyond themselves, to God’s promise of the kingdom in which death and sorrow will be no more. But that means, too, that the promise of the kingdom includes those needs, and doesn’t look down on them sneeringly as somehow second-rate.” ~N.T. Wright, The Lord and His Prayer.
This petition marks a shift in the Lord’s Prayer. The first few petitions are directed at God and center on his glory, kingdom, and will becoming a greater reality in this world and in our lives. The next few petitions, beginning with this request for daily bread, are petitions to God on behalf of ourselves and others.
The petition for daily bread is a petition for daily provision. It is a recognition that God is trustworthy and reliable to supply what we need to live each and every day. It is a reminder that we do not need to worry about how we will survive a year from now. We can trust God with our future and rest in his daily provision.
This petition would have resonated with Jesus’ initial audience more than it likely does to many of us today. In their world, kitchens didn’t have refrigerators, freezers, and pantries, where food could be stored for long periods of time. In addition to this, most laborers in Jesus’ day were paid very poorly, and they were paid each day for the work they performed that day. So, the pay they received each day was used to purchase the food that they needed for that day. This petition was more than a theological principle to apply; it was a reality they faced each and every day.
Even though we may not struggle with daily provision in the same ways they did, we should not skip over these words. In our culture of prosperity, we can quickly forget that it is God who ultimately provides what we have, as well as what we need. As we are often reminded throughout the Scriptures, it is God who provides the rain and the sunshine, which enables crops to grow; it is God who has given us able bodies and creative minds, with which we are able to provide for our needs. Whether you have more money in a savings account than you know what to do with, or you live paycheck to paycheck, or disability check to disability check—it is God who supplies your needs.
This petition should cause us to be grateful when we have plenty and be confident when we lack, because, as children of God, we have a Father who knows our needs and is able to provide. He is good and he is trustworthy. He cares about our biggest needs, and he cares about our basic needs, so we can confidently ask him to meet all our needs. Whatever situation you find yourself in, know that your Father longs to provide for you, and he is able to do so.
READ LUKE 11:1-13 FOCUSING ON VERSE 3
As God’s children, we should bring all of our needs (physical, emotional, spiritual) before God because he loves us. As Paul Miller says, asking God to fulfill our mundane needs will often lead us to seek His help more for our soul needs. Take ten minutes to slow down and think about your desires, fears, anxieties, and dreams. Write them down and ask God for wisdom and direction in these areas of your life. Practice “asking boldly and surrendering completely.” Expect God to answer your prayers. Some of you may experience answered prayer quickly. If so, share this with your group.
As you think about what it looks like to pray for your needs, there are a couple of practical ways to help you do that. One is to keep a prayer log. This tool helps you keep track of what you are asking God for, and it allows you to easily see when and how he has met your needs.
Another idea comes from chapter 27 of Paul Miller’s, A Praying Life. He suggests using prayer cards to help you keep track of how to pray for people, but this could just as easily be used to pray for ongoing areas of personal need.
He offers the following guidelines to help create prayer cards:
PRAY OVER YOUR OIKOS DOCUMENT
PRAY OVER THE 5 REQUESTS ON THE FASTING AND PRAYER GUIDE
PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER IN YOUR COMMUNITY GROUP
Our church family is embarking on a time of prayer-filled fasting October 7th through the 11th. Here are the points of focus for each day.
October 7 | Prayerful dependence
Hide not your face from me, lest I be like those who go down to the pit.
Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust.
Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
Deliver me from my enemies, O LORD! I have fled to you for refuge.
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God!
Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground!
► Matthew 6:7-15 | And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day 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 evil.
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
October 8 | Missional living
► Acts 1:8 | But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
► Romans 12:1-2 | I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
October 9 | Weekly gatherings
► Matthew 20:28 | even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
► Acts 2:42 | And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
October 10 | Wise stewardship
► 2 Corinthians 8:9 | For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.
► Matthew 6:21, 33 | For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also … seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
► 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 | The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
October 11 | United in Christ
► Galatians 6:1-2,9-10 | Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. … And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
► 1 Corinthians 11:1 | Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
YOUR KINGDOM COME
PRAY FOR GOD’S SOVEREIGN RULE NOW
Just the mention of God’s kingdom and God’s will can bring about a variety of thoughts and emotions. Many Christians view God’s kingdom as a distant, future reality and God’s will as something we search for spend our lives chasing. But, Jesus doesn’t present these concepts in such elusive ways.
The kingdom of God is simply the rule and reign of God. It is the reality that God, as the Sovereign over all things, has broken into our world with his redemptive authority, in order to establish his rule and restore things to the way they ought to be. When Jesus began his earthly ministry, this is the message he proclaimed (Matthew 4:23). Jesus has inaugurated his kingdom. He is reigning now. And, his kingdom will be fully realized when he returns again to judge sin and redeem those who are waiting for him (Hebrews 9:28).
This petition in the Lord’s prayer is twofold: First, it is a request for the authority of God to take a tighter grip on our hearts and lives right now. Second, it is a request for the fullness of God’s kingdom to finally come in an ultimate and complete sense.
As God’s children, our heart’s desire should be to reflect the character of our Heavenly Father. Everywhere we turn, we are confronted with the reality that this world is in desperate need of the restoration that will come God’s kingdom. As people who have been commissioned to declare and demonstrate the redemptive realities of his kingdom, this petition reminds us where our hope is found. What this world needs is not for our own kingdoms to flourish or for our own wills and desires to be obeyed. We need the kingdom and will of God to become a reality in this broken world.
As we pray this prayer, we should be reminded of the futility of our own kingdoms. This prayer should lift our eyes to the greater realities and greater needs that only God can fulfill. Our only hope is in God’s kingdom and will be coming to full fruition. This is a reality that our hearts should long to see.
“When we pray, ‘Thy kingdom come,’ are we praying for heaven to come to earth? In a sense we are praying for this; but heaven is an object of desire only because the reign of God is to be more perfectly realized than it is now. Apart from the reign of God, heaven is meaningless. Therefore, what we pray for is, ‘Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’ This prayer is a petition for God to reign, to manifest his kingly sovereignty and power, to put to flight every enemy of righteousness and of His divine rule, that God alone may be King over all the world.”-Ladd, E. George, The Gospel of the Kingdom
READ LUKE 11:1-13 FOCUSING ON VERSE 2c
Take some time to pray that God’s kingdom would be a greater reality in your world. Begin by praying for yourself—if the kingdom of God does not reign in your own life and your soul is not being nourished through communion with God, then you can’t pray for anyone else.
Richard Lovelace says, “The most crucial battle for the kingdom is won every time a human being repents, believes, and submits to the lordship of the Messiah, becoming a new center of the reordering of life on earth as it is in heaven. Repentance is the most dynamic inrush of the kingdom in ordinary history. When we repent we enter the kingdom, and the kingdom enters history in a little larger measure.”
PRAY OVER YOUR OIKOS DOCUMENT.
PRAY OVER THE 5 REQUESTS ON THE FASTING AND PRAYER GUIDE.
PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER IN YOUR COMMUNITY GROUP.
We capped off our "You Can Change" sermon series with an open mic time. Individuals from our church shared how God has worked in their lives in this season to transform their hearts and behaviors. We clapped, cried, and cheered hearing about how God's been moving. He has comforted, convicted, and conformed us into his image. Go, God!!
The stories shared included:
Praise God for his POWER to change our church. Know that when you present yourself to him in humility, he will ACT!
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
One of the major ways we serve our neighbors is through planning community events. This allows non-Christians to participate in God's work of restoration, even though they don't yet understand that. Our goal is to be a safe people for them to share their doubts with. We hope to see our neighbors choose to follow God!
At the end of March, Passport KC threw a series of events to raise awareness and money for S.A.C.R.E.D., a nonprofit that helps the families of children who have been sexually abused. You'll see photos from the Mother Daughter Tea at Shang Tea Company and Networking for a Cause at Plexpod in the Crossroads. This all raised $2,000, increased the faith of our planning committee, and laid the groundwork for a second event in 2019.
Thanks for praying!
Jim and I (Laura) are expecting our first child in early September. We're thrilled and grateful that God has given us a child, and we covet your prayers for continued health! As God grows my stomach with no help or intervention from me, I'm reminded that RMCC is God's church, and God grows his church by his power alone, for his glory alone, AND at his pace alone. Jim and I are growing in faith and gratitude seeing God work.
The Passport KC planning committee has three events downtown leading up to Easter. Please attend if you live in KC, and spread the word on Facebook. Also, pray the events would develop relationships and spread the Gospel!
Another update on our 2018, Taking Root prayers is that our Community Groups will launch on Easter. We're two-thirds of the way through a training curriculum for the group leaders. Jim and I are being convicted and refined by this same training in gospel-centered community. Starting in April, we'll have four groups meeting weekly to connect, care for, and train up our church family. Please pray for the church members and our non-Christian neighbors who sign up to participate in a community group!
Since our launch last September, we've welcomed first-time visitors to every single Sunday morning gathering. Our neighbors near and far are hungry for spiritual truth and meaning. "Pray that I can be born again," one woman L wrote on her welcome card. It's a privilege to shepherd these tender hearts into the Gospel--purpose and freedom provided through Jesus!
Already in 2018, God is strengthening our church for the future in several ways:
A married couple K & P visited for the first time on New Year's Eve; they chose to join in the training for Community Group leaders. K & P met while serving as counselors at a Christian camp and feel called to continue serving God in their daily lives and through the local church. We're amazed at how God continues to bring fresh workers to our body!
1. Launch 4-6 community groups (a.k.a. small groups) on Easter
2. Throw 2 large community events: Passport KC on Easter and Serve Day in September
3. Formalize a church membership process in the Fall
4. Carry out a year-long leadership development program with the men in our church (to feed into a 2019 deacon and eldership training)
5. Raise $20,000 of additional support (one-time or monthly giving)
6. Have 100 regular attendees at worship by year-end
Thank you for covering these goals and our ministry in prayer!
We'd like to share an update with all our financial supporters and prayer partners out there! God is doing amazing things in Downtown Kansas City!