We are halfway through our in-depth look at the Lord’s Prayer. By the time we get to this part of our prayer time, we have thanked, listened to and praised God, worshiped His holy name, sought His kingdom, surrendered to His will, and interceded for needs all around us. Now we breathe, “Give us today our daily bread.” Let’s look at this petition one piece at a time.
Give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.
~ Proverbs 30:8b-9
It is here that we acknowledge our provision comes from God, not our own effort or hard work. We are utterly dependent upon Him to provide for us or else we are sunk. The illusion that we can accomplish anything of eternal value apart from Him is a lie.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
~ John 15:5
Focus on the here and now. Get your head in the game for today. Let God handle tomorrow. Tomorrow will still be waiting for you when you get there. It’s not going anywhere. You’re not going to miss it.
Unless the Lord returns today, tomorrow will happen whether you’ve got it all figured out or not. (I say this with a smile. I wish it were as easy to live as it is to write about. I’m the worst at not stressing out about tomorrow. Lord, have mercy on me!)
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
~ Matthew 6:33-34, NLT
God sustains us one day at a time, so we must live one day at a time. Of course, you realize, as do I, that it is unrealistic to completely ignore the future and pretend it’s not going to happen, but we need to have a balance.
Plan as though you’ll live to be a hundred, but live as though today will be your last.
We must seek God daily for His provision. Remember the manna He fed to the Israelites in the desert? It had to be collected daily or it rotted (Ex 16:19-20). Except the day before the Sabbath. Then they were able to collect twice as much and it remained fresh overnight (Ex 16:24-26). God built rest right into the process and He made provision for them to take a break.
You wouldn’t eat once a week, would you? Yet too often, we treat God like a weekly drive-through fast food place, only acknowledging Him for an hour or two on Sunday.
God makes it clear that His provision for us is meant to be a DAILY exchange–not weekly, not monthly, and not only at Christmas and Easter.
Can you imagine if the only food you had all year was whatever you ate at important holidays? You wouldn’t be nourished enough to survive much less thrive. Likewise, occasional or hit-and-miss interaction with God will leave you spiritually underfed, malnourished, and impoverished. You will lack the vigor and strength that comes from acknowledging your dependence on God every day and being filled with His Spirit.
Bread is not just what you put on either side of your peanut butter and jelly. It has a long and rich history as a Biblical metaphor. I could literally write several posts on this one topic alone, so I’m just going to hit a few highlights here.
I already mentioned God’s miraculous provision for His people in the Old Testament with manna or “Bread of Heaven”. It is considered the food of angels (Ps 78:25). God humbled them and made them hunger so He could provide this bread to teach them that we are far more dependent on God than we are on food (Deut 8:3). It was considered so special, it was one of only three items kept in the Ark of the Covenant (Heb 9:4), right along side the 10 commandments carved in stone.
In the New Testament, Jesus Himself quoted Deut 8:3 when He faced off with the devil and proclaimed that He wouldn’t turn stones into bread because spiritual sustenances exceeds physical sustenance (Luke 4:4). Later, he told His disciples they didn’t even know what nourished Him and kept Him going (John 4:32). It wasn’t food. It was doing God’s will (John 4:34). Then, Jesus went on to reveal that He Himself is the Bread of Life and if we fill ourselves up with Him, we won’t be hungry for the temporary stuff of this life (John 6:35). He carries the metaphor still further when He tells His disciples in the upper room that the broken bread symbolizes His body broken for us so that our sins may be forgiven (1 Cor 11:24). This is where communion originated.
There’s much more, but that’s all we have time for today. Clearly, by asking for “daily bread” we are not just asking about what’s for dinner or even for other temporal things we may consider crucial to our existence. We are longing to fill ourselves with God Himself that we might have the power and energy to live the life He has called us to.
GOD’S DELICIOUS RESPONSE TO OUR PETITION
Come, taste and see!
Be prepared to experience His delicious response to your prayer, knowing that He never withholds His best from you.
Taste and see that the LORD is good.
Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
Fear the LORD, you his godly people,
for those who fear him will have all they need.
Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry,
but those who trust in the LORD will lack no good thing.
~ Psalm 34:8-10, NLT
We can trust Him to provide our daily bread. After all, He’s the one who told us to ask Him for it in the first place.
Remember as it says in your prayer guide, we want to bring to God our needs in light of His will for our lives, not merely our wants in light of our own desires.
What is something you know you need every day from God?
But wait, there’s more! See all the free printables to add to your prayer guide here.