Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.

Luke 12:15

Gracious Lord,

We thank You for the many and abundant blessings You shower upon us every day. We ask in the Lord’s Prayer for “daily bread,” which Martin Luther described as including “everything that has to do with the support and needs of the body, such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, home, land, animals, money, goods, a devout husband or wife, devout children, devout workers, devout and faithful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, self-control, good reputation, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.” The vast majority of us in America must admit that You give us far more than “daily” bread. We have much more than we need, and that becomes a problem in and of itself. We are more affluent now than any other society in history, yet we are spoiled and think we are entitled to everything we have. Many adults may lament this entitlement when they see it in younger generations, but we are no better. There is always more that we desire, whether a bigger house, more money, a better car, or the latest technology. Ours is a society of materialism. Many societies and empires have fallen over the years, Lord, and the final chapter in their histories is usually defined by the “Age of Decadence.” Clearly, we are in that stage in America (as are other countries). One of the characteristics of this Age of Decadence is materialism, which is a grave danger, for we forget that we rely upon You for everything and put our trust in You rather than in earthly wealth. Let us not be like the rich fool, who built bigger barns for his grain but failed to prepare himself for eternity. Grant that we remain humble and grateful to You for the blessings You bestow upon us, while not taking them for granted or clinging to them too tightly. Help parents to raise children who are not entitled and spoiled by too many possessions. Remind us to to use our material blessings to serve our neighbors, and set our minds on things above, not on earthly things (Colossians 3:2), for we know that where our treasure is, there our hearts will be also (Luke 12:34).

I confess to You my own entitlement and materialism…
Today I thank You for the daily bread You provide…

In Your name I pray. Amen.

Side note: The concept of the various stages of past empires, including the “Age of Decadence” to which I refer above, is discussed in the book America’s Expiration Date: The Fall of Empires and Superpowers . . . and the Future of the United States by Cal Thomas, a book that’s worth a read.

For a full explanation of this challenge, see the post 12-Minute Prayer Challenge. If you are just joining us, feel free to continue on with us from the current day, or if you prefer, you can go back and start at Day 1.