Two things I ask of you, Lord; do not refuse me before I die. Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God. Prov. 30:7-9 (NIV)
Heavenly Father, this portion of your Word carries a warning that’s both well founded and timely. Of late, life has been going really well. I’ve been in a steady stretch of encouragement, joy, and hope. It’s not that I’m doing anything differently, or that I’ve deserved a break. It just seems like I’ve been enjoying a little more of the “already” than the “not yet” of our life in Christ. And I hasten to say, thank you, Lord. It’s been sweet.
But this “stretch” of oasis-like ease has underscored the sanity of a prayer like this one offered by Agur: “Lord, don’t give me riches, lest I have too much, disown you, or live as though I don’t need you.” Father, that prayer can only be prayed by somebody really secure in your love—somebody that’s probably learned the hard way about the destructively seductive, soul-desensitizing, heart-deceiving power of money and stuff. After all, what do I have that I have not received as a gift from you hand? (1 Cor. 4:7) You’ve made us stewards, not owners.
By your providence, I happen to live in a culture and community of abundance—one in which you can easily become spiritual window-dressing; a Father to call upon only in crises. Unlike most of your children in the world, I have rarely, if ever, had to pray for daily bread.
So, by your Holy Spirit, keep me humble, stunned with gratitude, and increasing in generosity. May the gospel continue to challenge, change, and re-set the price tags in my life, Father. Grant me quick repentances from every expression of entitlement and presumption, spoiled-ness or dependence on creature comforts. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ exalted and treasure-worthy name.