“Two things I ask of you, Lord;
do not refuse me before I die:
Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.”
Proverbs 30:7-9 (NIV)
Do you have a favorite prayer in the Bible? Maybe the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), or the prayer of Jabez (1 Chronicles 4:10), or Hannah’s prayer (1 Samuel 1:10-11)? Prayer is our heart line to God, allowing us to praise him and make requests of him as we let him know our deepest desires and needs. Prayer is important.
In Proverbs 30, Agur expresses a humble prayer in which he asks the Lord for two things: to help him stay in truth and to give him only what he needs each day.
This prayer comes from a heart filled with wisdom and seeks to live a balanced life that honors God. With all the things that vie for our attention each day, a prayer like this one could keep us on track.
Agur’s first request is to be kept in truth, far from the lies of the world. He wanted to understand God’s word and obey it while living in a world that was filled with ungodly thoughts and ideas. If you prayed this request, how would your life change? Are there any lies of the world to which you subscribe? Consider your thoughts regarding possessions, money, appearance, your view of God, your thoughts on suffering and your definition of sin. Ask God for wisdom on these things, and seek his truths. He promises he will answer in Jeremiah 33:3, and this will keep you in truth!
The second request Agur makes is to not be rich or poor, so that he may live humbly before God. He wisely discerned that if he were rich, he might forget God because he was comfortable and didn’t think he needed anything. On the flip side, he didn’t want to be poor and feel like he had been abandoned by God and thus take matters into his own hands and steal. Agur wanted to live a life of complete contentment through closeness to God.
This request mirrors the Israelites wandering in the desert and receiving manna and quail daily from the Lord (Exodus 16). They could not save it for the next day – they could only expect God’s daily provision, and thus they relied on him and could be confident that he would provide. Are you confident in God’s daily provision for you? Are you willing to make Agur’s second request and find peace in the Lord’s daily provision?
Agur’s prayer is challenging for us today because we are inundated with worldly ideas through social media and television, and we are so accustomed to relying on our own strength to meet our needs. But, if we are willing to pray this humble prayer, joy and blessing are sure to follow. Be encouraged by Paul’s benediction in Romans 15:13:
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (NIV)