It is too easy to become fixated on the sandwich and forget about the restaurant.
Jesus taught: “Give us this day our daily bread.” This sentence on prayer is found in the Lord’s Prayer.
Asking is a major reason to pray. Jesus taught in the Lord’s Prayer that when we ask, it will be given to us. If you ask your father on earth for a loaf of bread, will he give you a stone? If you know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give you what is good?
Let’s say that you have a millionaire father. Every morning you say to your father, “Father, can I go into the kitchen and make myself a sandwich to take with me today for my lunch?” Your father would say yes. You ask the next morning, and the next morning – continuing for weeks, and perhaps even months.
Your father will say sooner or later, “Please don’t ask anymore. You are my child. Just go into the kitchen each morning and fix yourself a sandwich.”
Several years later you are home from school, traveling, and living in a different city. You get up one morning and say to your father, “Dad, as you know, I love to make sandwiches. In the past several years I have gone to Culinary Arts College, I have travelled to many places eating sandwiches, I have developed some great recipes for sandwiches and the sauces that go on them. Now I want to open a restaurant. Will you give me the money?”
Too often our prayers to our Dad in heaven ask for the sandwich and not the restaurant. The overwhelming teaching on prayer in the Bible tells us to ask for the restaurant.
For years, I focused on praying for my daily bread. I had prayer lists on every aspect of my life – pages upon pages of needed money, specific people to pray about, things to buy, places to travel. Then I began to see that I had focused too much on the sandwich and forgot the larger picture of the restaurant.
I still pray for all of the sandwich specifics, and God’s loves my prayers. I’ve been asking about a new bicycle lately!!! But I don’t forget to ask for the restaurant. I believe that God wants to use my church, my teaching, and my city to reach the world.
In this day of isolation, pandemic, and difficult issues of justice, it is easy to ask only for the sandwich. During times of stress we become too focused on ourselves. During change, God wants to do something new. Something great. He wants us to be a part of it.
God wants us to ask for the restaurant.
This doesn’t mean our Father in heaven is a celestial money machine. The child who asked for a restaurant had a life calling and the gifting of the Spirit within the restaurant request. For great prayers you have to discern what type of restaurant you should open.
Please ask for the sandwich, but don’t forget about the restaurant. Especially today.
Now to prepare you for lunch today. Below is my favorite sandwich. The trend today is for a sandwich to contain lettuce, vegetables, and spinach. Some try to eat healthy. But in the OGV version of the Bible, we find in the Book of Genesis that when God created the sandwich it looked like this: