‘Give us this day our daily fish …’

It was not quite the weekend, but it might as well have been. I surveyed the beach below and saw the masses of people with dipnets peppering the beach as the waves rolled in. This was going to be the day of the great salmon fish surge and I was ready. My son and I unloaded the gear and weaved our way around tents, coolers, nets, and fish heads. We prepared our nets and headed for the water. We squeezed into the fray of people packed shoulder to shoulder and scooted our nets out to the open water. We waited and waited. We saw a few Kenai beauties hauled in as some people cheered and others seemed disgusted that they were not as fortunate. Then from somewhere amongst the crowd and the twisted mass of metal and nets I heard a loud voice bellow out a prayer, “Lord thank you for this day and these fish, grant us an abundance of them… .” He continued on as people stared on and waited.

I sure agreed with his prayer as we all wanted the fish to come in and we especially wanted fish in our nets. This gentleman’s prayer engaged me, and all who heard it, to reflect on the questions, “What is prayer?” and “Does prayer really work?”

As a young boy I was encouraged by my pastor to pray and was taught “Prayer is simply talking to God.” Prayer is an intimate conversation with the God who created humanity to know and be in relationship with Him. When Jesus taught his disciples to pray in “The Lord’s Prayer,” he gave a model about the important elements of prayer. The first priority is to praise and thank God for who He is, and then to make requests to Him, admitting we have needs that only God can fill. God wants us to ask for things we need. When we pray “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11) or in this case “our daily fish” we are showing that we are depending on God one day at a time. The phrase “daily bread” was more than just food; it represents food, shelter, provision, family and security. God beckons us to pray for things that we need in life.

So does prayer really work? Jesus wants us to bring our requests before Him and to believe in faith that God will answer (Matthew 21:22). He responds to our prayers by answering “Yes, No, or Not Now.” Jesus gives us the big picture of order when asking things of God: “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you” (Mt 6:33). I am not sure if this gentleman was blessed with an abundance of fish that day, but I, and many others, sure got a bunch. I left the beach later that day thanking God for the blessing of fish and for the opportunity to be reminded of how much God wants me to connect with Him in prayer for the needs in my life, whether big or small because He loves me so.

Frank Alioto is the pastor of The River Covenant Church: “An Alaskan church for people who would rather go to the River.” We gather on Sundays, 10:30 a.m. at K-Beach Elementary in Soldotna. Call 252-2828 or visit www.therivercovenantchurch.org.

More in Life

This artwork, as well as the story that accompanied it in the October 1953 issue of Master Detective magazine, sensationalized and fictionalized an actual murder in Anchorage in 1919. The terrified woman in the image is supposed to represent Marie Lavor.
A nexus of lives and lies: The William Dempsey story — Part 1

William Dempsey and two other men slipped away from the rest of the prison road gang on fog-enshrouded McNeil Island, Washington, on Jan. 30, 1940

File
Minister’s Message: Reorienting yourself to pray throughout the day

No doubt, one of the most remarkable gifts God gives to communicate with his creation is the gift of prayer

The Christ Lutheran Church is seen on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Musicians bring ‘golden age of guitar’ to Performing Arts Society

Armin Abdihodžic and Thomas Tallant to play concert Saturday

Storm Reid plays June Allen in “Missing,” a screenlife film that takes place entirely on the screens of multiple devices, including a laptop and an iPhone. (Photo courtesy Sony Pictures)
On The Screen: ‘Missing’ is twisty, modern, great

I knew “Missing” was something special early on

Puff pastry desserts are sprinkled with sugar. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Puff pastry made simple

I often shop at thrift stores. Mostly for cost, but also out… Continue reading

Nick Varney
Unhinged Alaska: Would I do it again?

I ran across some 20-some year-old journal notes rambling on about a 268-foot dive I took

A copy of Prince Harry’s “Spare” sits on a desk in the Peninsula Clarion office on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Off the Shelf: Prince Harry gets candid about ‘gilded cage’ in new memoir

“Spare” undoubtedly succeeds in humanizing Harry

The cast of “Tarzan” rides the Triumvirate Theatre float during the Independence Day parade in downtown Kenai, Alaska on Monday, July 4, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Triumvirate swings into the year with ‘Tarzan’, Dr. Seuss and fishy parody

The next local showing of the Triumvirate Theatre is fast approaching with a Feb. 10 premiere of “Seussical”

This vegan kimchi mandu uses crumbled extra-firm tofu as the protein. (Photo by Tressa Dale / Peninsula Clarion)
Meditating on the new year with kimchi mandu

Artfully folding dumplings evokes the peace and thoughtful calm of the Year of the Rabbit

Most Read