How would you ever measure your love for your city? How you define the word “us” may help. A while back, I was praying the Lord’s Prayer from Matt. 6:9-13. When I got to “Give us this day our daily bread” (v.11) the Spirit stopped me, and the question came: “Who is in your ‘us’?”
Is “us” just you and your family? Perhaps “us” is the whole church (at least, those who attend twice monthly). According to your faith, who qualifies for this petition for daily bread, anyway? What if my “us” was the whole city, or county, or maybe the world?
Yes! I thought, let my “us” be at least our city, and let everyone in our city have something to eat … and shelter, too, while I’m asking. God was calling us through the Lord’s Prayer to believe not just for ourselves, but for everyone.
Before the “daily bread” verse is “Your kingdom come. Your will be done.” I’ve been thinking lately about what the world would actually look like if that part of the prayer was answered. Imagine if His kingdom really came, and His will really was done. Later on in the passage (vv.25-33), that coming kingdom that we’re praying for and seeking certainly involves the provision of basic necessities.
Did you know that Nov. 15-23 is National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week? I don’t know about you, but I’m putting everyone in our region into my “us” prayers, regardless of whether they know me or like me. Even if they don’t want to be in my “us,” I’m still praying for them. I am praying, believing that everyone will have daily bread, clothing and shelter in my city.
I realize the answer to this prayer may require something more than just a quick recitation—a more personal response. But I know if I roll up my sleeves and walk the way of Jesus in response to this prayer, I won’t be going alone.
Could I suggest that as we pray the Lord’s Prayer throughout this week, by our love we enlarge our “us” and “our” to include everyone? It’s my hope you can’t get past that “us” ever again without stopping to ask, “Who is ‘us’?”
Lord, let Your kingdom come and let Your will be done on Earth as it is in heaven. Give (all of) “us” this day our daily bread. This week, as we consider those who feel the pangs of hunger and the vulnerability of no home, we pray that all of “us” would have daily bread, clothing and shelter. May all not only hear the gospel, but also let’s see all who are “us.” Together “we” ask that Your kingdom would come! Fill our hearts with love for all; fill our gatherings with those who need You; and fill our bodies with food this day. In Jesus’ name, let it be so.
How You Can Pray
Pray through the Lord’s Prayer, and include your local community as part of “us.” Then ask God to show you how you can serve those who are homeless and hungry.
Praying with us? Include what you are praying for in a comment below.