Have you ever thought about the theological truth in a child’s prayer?

I really enjoy teaching our boys to pray. For instance, most of the time when my wife and I pray with our boys over a meal, we say this prayer:

God is great.
God is good.
Let us thank him for our food.
By his hands, we all are fed.
Give us, Lord, our daily bread.
Amen.

Many parents will pray this prayer with their children and not really realize the truth that they are speaking. In fact, there is deep truth in this child’s prayer.

God is great.

God is great. God is awesome. God is all sovereign, majestic, holy, just, righteous. There are many Scriptures in the Bible that attribute worth and value to God. All praise and glory belong to God.

God is good.

Jesus says in Matthew 19:17 that there is only One who is good. We must understand that God is all good. God is infinitely good. Everything that God does is good. There is no wrong motives in God. God never has impure thoughts. God made all that is good. God defines good. God is good. Our definition of good pales in comparison to how incredibly good our God is.

Let us thank him for our food.

Why do you say the blessing over your food before you eat? Paul writes to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:4-5 and says this,

For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.

You say the blessing over your food because you are thankful—and it is received with thanksgiving and gladness. You recognize that it is God who has given you the meal you are about to eat, and it has nothing to do with you. It is made holy because when God made the world, God said that all he had made was good.

By his hands, we all are fed.

God is our provider. It is not our paycheck that feeds us. It is not our fishing or hunting skills that feed us. It is not our ability to go to the grocery store that feeds us. It is only God who feeds us. God gave you the paycheck you used to buy food. God gave you the skills to fish or hunt. God gave you the ability to go to the grocery store. God did it all. God is the Father who cares for his children. God provides.

Give us, Lord, our daily bread.

God provides for what we need daily. This is a reflection back to the Israelites when they were in the desert. God provided for them manna to eat. God required that they gather only what they needed for the day. So it is with us. God is our provider and our sustainer. Too little food and you starve. Too much food and it goes to waste. God knows exactly what you need. God is your sustainer. He is the giver of all good gifts and blessings. He sustains you, not food, nor anything else…just him.

Amen.

The prayer closes with an acknowledgment that you understand God is who he says he is, that it is God who has given you the food you are eating (whether it is organic or McDonald’s), it is God that you thank—he is your provider and sustainer.

There is much truth in just a simple child’s prayer.

What can you learn from this?

Don’t over-complicate prayer. You don’t have to use big theological words. You don’t have to pray in a deep voice and sound like you are quoting Shakespeare. Just go to your Heavenly Father like a little child goes to their daddy. Talk to God in all honesty and communicate to him from your heart. Your Heavenly Father loves you, understands you and knows what you need even before you ask.

Photo by Steve Evans via Flickr