From the Pulpit: Pastor Wendy Howlett
Blessed Family Covenant Church
Give Us This Day
My oldest niece was recently murdered by an ex-boyfriend. When I received the news early in the morning, I found myself weeping. My heart felt wounded. As a preacher, pastor and leader, I feel I have an understanding and grasp of death, its reality, its origin and its place in our living.
In fact, I am seldom overwhelmed by death, but this time I wept for about 30 minutes, calling out the name of Jesus. My niece, about fifteen months earlier, was on our prayer list because she had lost her husband and youngest adult daughter in a horrific automobile accident, and now she was gone. I felt for my oldest sister, her mother, and my niece’s oldest daughter who was now alone.
The day was sprinkled with moments of weeping and when night came I was grateful my family had survived the day. The following morning, I awoke with an overwhelming sense of hope and I was grateful for the day—this day of hope.
The Lord Jesus, responding to a request from His disciples, outlined a model of prayer in Matthew 6:9-13. He began the prayer with praise and worship: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. The kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it in heaven. The first petition that followed this opening was, “Give us this day . . .”
What a daily battle cry for every believer and for the Church –Give us this day! Since You, O Lord, are the creator of every day for the Scriptures tell us in Psalms 118:24 “This is the day which the Lord hath made.”
O Father, give us this day, lest we think and believe that our enemy, the devil, holds the day. Regardless of the devil’s mischief for the day, The Lord made the day and all that is in the day is under His hand. The twist and turns, the victories and the defeats will work out for our good. Those of us who do love Him and for those of us who are the called, this is our hope in living, because God gave us this day. Morning by morning, new mercies we see in the day.
We must seize each day to the glory of God. Why? With a political climate of hide, lie and blame and a social climate that disregards life and living, we need the Father to give us the day. Unlike Joshua, we don’t need the sun to stand still. We don’t need a longer day. We need an effective day.
We need to be able to work while it is day, and I mean work the will of God, before the night comes and darkness becomes the norm. We need to walk wisely, while we can still spiritually discern the times because truly the days are evil and each day has a sufficient evil.
Give us this day, O Lord, to hear and fulfill Your Word—to comprehend Your will. Just as you delivered David’s enemies into his hands, deliver this day into our hands. Give us the victories that will surely be won in this day. We will put on the whole armor of God and prepare to battle all the Goliaths.
The Word declares ‘that as your days are, so shall your strength be’. So, there is strength in every day given to us by God. Strength to succeed, strength to make it—strength to carry our daily cross. Strength to obey. Strength to forgive. Strength to love the brethren.
I pray to be like Caleb, so that as I age, I can say with boldness, “I am still as strong today as I was on the day Moses sent me. I believe this is the way it is when God gives us the day. If you are weak, say you are strong. The song poet says, ‘You are strong enough if you count it so.’ God gives us the day and the strength needed for the day.
The Hebrew writer declares in the third chapter, “Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.” Someone will hear the Lord’s voice today. Therefore, let us ask the Father for this day and for the souls that will exit darkness and move into the marvelous light of God. My niece had opened her life up to the Lord.
Some of us have family or loved ones who reside outside the arc of safety. Friends or neighbors who are lost. We need the Father to give us this day so that we can snatch some out of the fire. Give us this day to move your angels, our ministering spirits into position to oversee their lives until they repent. We need this day given to us for the souls that as of yet don’t know the Lord. Father, give us this day to reach the lost for your kingdom.
God created us to be like Him—to rule over His creation. Let us be cleansed of our sins. We no longer want to live below the line of despair. Father, give us this day to rise to the position you have called us to; to sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
Give us this day the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Himself. May the eyes of our understanding be so enlightened that we know the hope of His calling, the riches of His glory in us and the exceeding greatness of His power to us who sit here this day and believe.
Give us this day to become the people of God, the body of Christ, a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. Give us this day.
The Scriptures says, ‘From the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, your name is worthy to be praised.’ It doesn’t matter what is in the day, the Lord gives us the day and He is worthy of praise in the day. His provision is daily available for us as it was with Israel in the wilderness. Whether it’s mercy, grace, love, joy, comfort or peace, the Lord provides.
Since the Lord inhabits praise, He lives where there is praise. We will pull God into our day with our daily praise. I need this day so that my praise will shake heaven. I know I can make it and I know I will be better, if He gives me this day.
May this become your daily petition – Father, give us this day.