Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die: Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the bestseller, Prayer of Jabez. It’s a book about an honorable man in the Old Testament who cried out to God, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” (1 Chron. 4:10). We like prayers that ask for more influence, impact, and opportunity, don’t we? But I doubt you are familiar with the prayer of Agur. I have thought about writing a book about it, but I’m doubtful publishers would touch it. Agur was a simple man with two simple yet powerful requests.
First, Agur prayed for integrity. He did not want to live a life of duplicity. Notice he didn’t pray, “God, please help me to tell the truth.” He prays that God will keep opportunities for falsehood far away, out of his reach. He prayed that God would keep him from temptation and sin.
Second, Agur prayed for just enough—not too much lest pride and self-sufficiency overtake him; not too little lest he is tempted to steal food for his family. Agur prayed for that balance between dependence and desperation. He didn’t want a full barn so he could eat, drink, and be merry. He prayed for “daily bread.” Daily bread kept Agur thankful to God for each day’s provision and dependent on God for tomorrow’s portion.
Heavenly Father, please give me the courage to pray Agur’s prayer. Help me always look to you for tomorrow’s blessings. Keep us thankful and dependent. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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