Last week, Nick started his new job. For some of you, that might not seem like it deserves italics. But oh, it does. This is the first time he has not been self-employed since we've been married (really, since he was in high school). What does this mean for us? Financial stability. Money. Provision.
And a there is a weightlessness about my husband that I haven't seen in a long time.
For awhile now, finances have been tight for us. Nick has been working most of the day and night, every day. Still, it has been a season of little means. We are at the end of what has been yet another facet of a long trial for us. But through it, we've learned even more.
We have learned how to pray more fervently.
The idea of "daily bread" has become real to me. The normal needs of life have filled out our prayers in a way that, by the grace of God, we have never faced before. And it has caused us to live much more in the present--something that doesn't always come naturally to me.
But no matter what are needs, God is never late. This is a truth that we have learned over and over again.
And here we are--Nick well and strong, a baby on the way, a part-time income (I got a job too!) and a full-time income. This is the stuff our dreams have been made of for the past few years.
I've started reading E.M. Bounds's books on prayer. It's been such a confirmation to what I've been feeling my prayer life should look like. Even within the first two chapters of the first book, I was so encouraged. It spoke to me in this season of want that we have found ourselves, where today's needs have become a reality.
I want to share some of it with you. And, as a forewarning, there will probably be more where this came from in the coming days. It's a long quote, but bear with me. It's so good.
Faith covers temporal as well as spiritual needs. Faith dispels all undue anxiety and needless care about what shall be eaten, what shall be drunk, what shall be worn. Faith lives in the present, and regards the day as being sufficient unto the evil thereof. It lives day by day, and dispels all fears for the morrow. Faith brings great ease of mind and perfect peace of heart.
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusted in thee.
When we pray, "Give us this day our daily bread," we are, in a measure, shutting tomorrow out of our prayer. We do not live in tomorrow but in today. We do not seek tomorrow's grace or tomorrow's bread. They thrive best, and get most out of life, who live in the living present. They pray best who pray for today's needs, not for tomorrow's, which may render our prayers unnecessary and redundant by not existing at all!
True prayers are born of present trials and present needs. Bread, for today, is bread enough. Bread given for today is the strongest sort of pledge that there will be bread tomorrow. Victory today, is the assurance of victory tomorrow. Our prayers need to be focused upon the present. We must trust God today, and leave the morrow entirely with him. The present is ours; the future belongs to God. Prayer is the task and duty of each recurring day--daily prayer for daily needs.
As every days demands its bread, so every day demands its prayer. No amount of praying, done today, will suffice for tomorrow's praying. On the other hand, no praying for tomorrow is of any great value to us today. Today's manna is what we need; tomorrow God will see that our needs are supplied. This is the faith which God seeks to inspire. So leave tomorrow, with its cares, its needs, its troubles, in God's hands. There is no storing tomorrow's grace or tomorrow's praying; neither is there any laying-up of today's grace, to meet tomorrow's necessities. We cannot have tomorrow's grace, we cannot eat tomorrow's bread, we cannot do tomorrow's praying. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof; and, most assuredly, if we possess faith, sufficient also, will be the good.
- E.M. Bounds, The Necessity of Prayer (emphasis mine)
Of course, there is a place for prayer on larger matters that span past today. But his point is well made. We can cast our cares for tomorrow on the one that knows our every need. This day that we are in is a gift and we must not waste it. We must live in the present. We must live in faith for God's provision.
And oh, how he does provide.