Come Sunday most of us will utter a prayer as we worship together. One of the lines goes like this: “Give us this day our daily bread.” Of course, this comes from The Lord’s Prayer.
One doesn’t have to be a Bible scholar to imagine that Jesus is harkening us back to the days in the wilderness when manna came from heaven on a daily basis. You couldn’t get too much (or it would spoil) and you never got too little. Sustainability. It is also possible that Jesus was reminding his faithful friends to recall the words of Proverbs 30: 8, “…give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.”
The point is this; the legitimate prayer—the legitimate ask—is for “not too little;” but it is also for “not too much.” Most of us never think about bread (or money) in this way. Not too little we understand. We are very sure to let God know we don’t want a shortage. However, praying to God for “not too much” is something many of us have never tried. We are less inclined to ask God to make sure there is no surplus. “Give me neither poverty nor riches…” is the prayer of the faithful Christian.
I don’t know about you but when I pray about “not too little” my mind is drawn to all the places I have too little. The more I think about it the less I see in my life. The result is anxiety and a grumbling nature. Conversely, if I pray about “not too much” my mind will be drawn to think about places where I have an abundance and can live comfortably with less than I have. The result is both gratitude and an opportunity to use those resources for Kingdom work.
While not a popular thought, be sure to pray the prayer of sustainability. Our lives (and our churches) are not meant for too little or too much. God has made it thus.
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Director of Development
United Methodist Foundation of Indiana