Agur’s Prayer

“Two things I asked of You, do not refuse me before I die: Keep deception and lies far from me, give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with the food that is my portion, that I not be full and deny You and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or that I not be in want and steal, and profane the name of my God.” (Proverbs 30:7-9)

One of the most precious gifts given to us by God is the ability to speak to Him in prayer. But approaching God is not as easy as closing your eyes and saying a few words. It requires humility and reverence because of our conviction of who we are and who God is. Approaching God requires us to know where our own will lies in comparison to His. It requires us to understand that God knows our needs better than we do. Agur understands these things as is evident in His prayer. He first prays for God’s grace and that he be kept far from lies and deception. He recognizes that this world is very deceiving and can easily keep us from the reality of God. That’s something that we cannot afford to neglect in our prayers today. The entertaining things of this world lie to us and try to make us believe that we can have happiness without God. This world caters to our ambitions and we easily deceive ourselves in thinking that, “If I only had this then I’ll be satisfied and happy.” That’s not reality though, because apart from God we will never be truly satisfied just like our eyes are never satisfied with seeing (Ecclesiastes 1:8). We will always want more, but if we are spiritually awake, then we realize that only a close relationship with God will satisfy. Agur then prays for a state between poverty and riches, and for his portion of food. He wished no more than enough to sustain him and prays against the extremes of abundance and want. He recognizes the value which wise and good men have for a middle state in life and, with submission to God’s will, he desires that this might be his condition as well. When we think about how those who have abundance are prone to abuse or misuse the gift, and when we consider what it is to suffer want, then we can easily see the wisdom behind Agur’s prayer. But sadly, this is a prayer that is seldom prayed today, especially in an environment of selfishness and high deception. We’ve put our priority above God’s and ask for the things that we want, things that make us more comfortable in this life. What about what our Father wants for our lives? If we are removed from vanity (futility) and lies, if we are interested in the love of Christ and having Him as our satisfaction, and if we walk with God and obey Him, then we’ll have all that we can ask or even think – not the physical things that are temporary but the spiritual things that are eternal. If we abide in Him, our Father will supply all our needs. Why should we wish for more?