When I ask someone to give thanks for the food, I don’t normally expect them to mention cattle… but this is exactly what I often heard in prayers when I was a student at theological college.
As we were about to eat our meal, the principal would sometimes quote from Psalm 50, saying, “Lord, you own the cattle on a thousand hills…” and then he’d give thanks for the food.
It’s certainly a bit of a change to the good old, “for what we are about to receive,” but what makes it so good is the startling reminder that the Lord to whom we pray is actually the one who owns every hill, and every animal, on planet Earth.
Like a megaphone, it shouts out the true place of the true and living God: the one who not only created the world but also sustains it with his mighty word.
As I reflected on God’s kindness, I also thought about the other things we thank him for, as well as the many things we ask him for.
We say ‘thanks’ and ‘ask’ prayers because we know that God ultimately owns everything.
As we think about our church finances for the remainder of this year, and as we plan for the year to come, it’s a great relief to know that God owns the cattle on the many hills of Jamberoo, as well as every other asset in our pockets and on the planet.
And so we thank him for all he’s given us, we pray that he’d provide for our needs, and we trust him with great confidence.
God owns the lot, and so that’s why we can confidently thank him and ask him for all our needs.