“Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.”
Psalms 100:4-5

Contentment and Prayer

“Godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing
into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.  But if we have
food and clothing, we will be content with that.”    (1 Tim 6)
I haven’t met too many people in my life who have been truly content
with their lives. Contentment doesn’t come easily to us but once we
have discovered the meaning of the work of Christ we can never look at
our material needs in the same way again. The Lord’s Prayer reflects
this reality – the main focus of the prayer is the glory of God and
our spiritual needs rather than our material.
We can pray for our daily bread which includes all that we need to
sustain our lives. The very term ‘daily bread’ was perhaps first used
by Jesus as it has no parallel in other Greek literature and
emphasises that we need a close daily dependence on Him.
Jesus didn’t come so that we can be rich, powerful and influential. He
came to establish God’s kingdom, so that His will can be done on earth
as in heaven and that His name can be made holy. He came so that we
can receive forgiveness of sin and overcome temptation and evil.
Richard Foster wrote in ‘Freedom of Simplicity’: “I still remember the
day this reality struck me with unusual force. I was passing by some
very expensive homes, and began pondering our perennial tendency to
want something bigger, better, and more plush. At the same time, I was
monitoring the rise of covetousness in my spirit as I admired those
homes. I carried on a little inward dialogue. Was it possible, I
wondered, to come to the place where you do not desire more house even
if you can afford it? Couldn’t you decide on a particular economic
livability level and rest contented with that, even if your income
exceeded it considerably? The response was swift: “Oh yes! It is not
necessary to always crave more. You can live contented with what you
have, with no further desire to accumulate more.”
It is only once we have learnt to be content in all circumstances that
the concern for the glory of God and our spiritual needs can take its
proper place in our lives and in our prayers.