O God, I beg two favors from you; let me have them before I die. First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name. ~ Proverbs 30:7-9
The book of Proverbs ends with two chapters, neither written by King Solomon. In chapter 30 we have the sayings of a man named Agur son of Jakeh. His name is the only thing we know about this Agur, other than he obviously had wisdom (to be included in a book of wisdom) and that he had a love for the Lord.
In 30:7-9 we find a simple prayer by Agur. While sometimes we face needs or situations that require longer periods of time spent in prayer, Agur shows us that not every prayer must be long and complex. Indeed, if we are to follow Paul’s command to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), then our prayer lives will primarily consist of simple prayers we pray as we go throughout the day. We can’t spend all day every day locked away praying. God desires that we work, play, rest, and spend time in loving relationships with other people. Yes, each day should have a period of focused prayer, but simple prayers are ones we can ponder as we work, drive, or hold a loved one.
In his prayer Agur had just two requests: keep my words truthful and supply my daily need with neither too much nor too little. Agur’s desire was to be a man of honesty who remained faithful to God.
And such would be a good simple prayer for us to include as we face each day. Lord, keep my lips from lying and satisfy my needs so that I depend on and do not dishonor you. Amen.
This post is part of our ongoing journey through the Bible as a church.