Even Jesus, who enjoyed such an intimate relationship and oneness with the Father, where it seemed prayer would be superfluous – still prayed continuously. Ever vigilant in prayer.
We need prayer, but its not just a responsibility and a need. Because if it were, it easily becomes the last resort of the desperate, Instead of being looked on as the high privilege of being a child of the king.
It easily becomes the ritual before each meal, and not looked on as of being able to enter the throne room of the creator of heaven and earth.
Last night before your dinner, you probably said a prayer, and thanked God for the food you were about to eat. And that is good and proper. It is God that provides all of our needs. Psalm 136:25 says that he gives food to all flesh, for his steadfast love endures forever. We are told by Jesus in Matthew chapter 6 that it is God who provides for the birds of the air, even though they do not sow or harvest. How much more so will he take care of us? And in the model prayer Jesus provides just before that, he says that we should ask for our daily bread. Because our daily bread comes from God.
And yet….how did God feed us? He didn’t
He provided it with common means and circumstances. It was the farmer who reaped a harvest and sold the grain. The baker who actually made the bread. The truck driver who drove it across the country to your chosen grocery store. The third-shift worker who stocked the shelves at 3:00 AM in the morning, so you could easily find what you were looking for.
All of these things conspired to give you your daily bread yesterday. All of these things are everyday jobs of normal people, some would say mundane jobs. And yet it was actually God working through them to care for you and your family. There is a very real sense that when the farmer puts his hand to the plow, God is putting his hand to the plow.
This has some staggering implications, some of which we will be talking about today, but the first one is the importance of the work of men’s hands. Even mundane work. Maybe even ESPECIALLY.
That’s what we are going to be talking about today. And we are going to start at the very beginning. Literally, the very beginning.