11 “Give us this day our daily bread … “
Matthew 6:11 (ESV)
When was the last time you heard someone say, “I’m good! I’ve got all that I need!”? Most likely, you’ll hear people talking about needing just a little bit more to get by. Maybe you’ve said that yourself. Funny thing is, it doesn’t seem to matter how much anyone has; they can always use “just a little bit more.”
It’s no accident we think the way we do. Despite enormous prosperity in the U.S., we’re bombarded daily with marketing bent on cultivating discontentment and entitlement. We’re told relentlessly that more of everything is better and that doing without the trinkets of this world is less than we deserve.
This mindset permeates the world of athletics. From every direction, there is a steady stream of “new and improved” -- gadgets, apparel, facilities, publicity, teams, contracts, endorsements -- all fueling an insatiable appetite for customized prosperity at the next level.
In His model prayer, Jesus turns cultural consumerism on its head.
The brief yet profound request for daily bread focuses our attention on necessities, not luxuries. It doesn’t disregard our real need for provision, but it curbs our natural bent toward excess. With humility and confidence, we are supposed to ask for all that we need to do what God has called us to do, believing that our heavenly Father (v. 9) is glad to deliver the goods.
Athlete, consider a few things as you pray this phrase today: How often do you feel and express gratitude for all that God has provided for you? How well are you utilizing all that you have (time, talent and treasure) to advance God’s redemptive mission? Do you have a real sense of contentment with what you have? Or does the quest for more occupy your heart and mind most of the time?
Let this simple request remind you of your faithful Provider and His commitment to give you what you need -- to do what He has called you to do.