Larry Lea tells the story of his experience as a third-year seminary student who had the rare opportunity to dine at the prestigious Petroleum Club in Fort Worth, Texas. He was invited into those elegant surroundings at the invitation of a wealthy business man. After he had said the blessing, he paused as he reached for his fork, noticing in surprise that the gentleman who had invited him was weeping.
This 60 year old multi-millionaire with his head bowed, hot tears dripping off his chin and staining his expensive silk tie was sobbing. Larry asked asked softly “What’s wrong? Can I help? Several seconds elapsed as the gentlemen struggled to regain his composure. Taking a deep breath, he confided, “I was 19 years old when God called me to preach, but I said no. I wanted my own way, wanted to make a lot of money. So I refused to take my hands off my life”.
His voice broke, and more tears trickled down his face. “But I don’t have any peace,” he sobbed brokenly. “I missed God’s purpose for my life.”
Maybe this reminds you of a story. You remember it, Jesus on His way to Jerusalem when a well dressed young man came running up and fell at Jesus feet. “Good Master” he asked earnestly, “what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”
Mark records the momentous decision that took place in the next few moments:
And as he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before Him, and asked Him, Teacher,(You are essentially and perfectly morally) good, what must I do to inherit eternal life( that is, to partake of eternal salvation in the Messiah’s kingdom)?
And Jesus said unto him, why do you call Me ( essentially and perfectly morally) good? There is no one good except God alone.
You know the commandments: Do not kill; do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not bear false witness; do not defraud; honor your father and mother.
And he replied to Him, Teacher, I have carefully guarded and observed all these and taken care not to violate them from my boyhood.
And Jesus looking upon him loved him, and He said unto him, you lack one thing; go and sell all you have, and give [the money] to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come [and] accompany Me—Walking the same road I walk. (Amplified Bible).
God’s principles are diametrically opposed to those of the world. God says, “Give and it shall be given unto you.” The world cautions, “get all you can”. But man’s ways are not God’s ways.
What a wonderful balance we see in the Lord’s prayer. The first concern:
1. His name
2. His kingdom
3. His will
4. Then He tells us to pray “give us this day our daily bread”
If we seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness, all other things will be added unto us. Jesus was not trying to transform the rich young ruler into the poor old beggar. He was trying to break the power of the greed and poverty that bound this young man’s soul.
You see, he built his life around his money. A lot of people are like that. Money is their security cushion but they can’t enjoy it or sleep at night for worrying about holding onto it.
God gives us four basic requirements for successfully praying for our needs.
1. Be in the will of God. Fellowship with God through prayer and reading of the Word of God (Acts 1:8)
2. Fellowship with one another. Find a local church hang with true believers (Hebrews 13:17)
3. Balanced, diligent work habits. Earn a living with the talents God has given you (1 Thes 4:11,12)
(1Thes 3:11,12 2 Thes. 3:10).
4. Obedience in giving to God.(Malachi 3:10,11 1 Timothy 6:10) If we take care of the root of evil, we will not have the fruit of evil in our lives.