“Give us today our daily bread.” (Matthew 6:11)
I’m presently preaching through a sermon series on the Lord’s Prayer. This prayer that so many of us prayer week in week in our worship gatherings more like robotic drones than disciples of the one the one who taught us how to pray. I’m presently at week four. Right in the middle of the Lord’s Prayer Jesus gives us a statement in prayer that I have long struggled with. “Give us this day our daily bread.” (ESV)
This statement in prayer has always been puzzling to me.
The statement seems to be too demanding to me. When my children are young one of the first things I do is to emphasize the proper way to ask for things. My two-year-old daughter demandingly says to me “I want chock-it milk!”
I reply, “Sweetheart, how do we ask for chocolate milk?”
Her reply, “Peese may I have chock-it milk, daddy?”
Give us this day our daily bread? How about saying please?
Why do I need to pray this part of the prayer at all? Didn’t Jesus just say that the Father already knows what I need? “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” (Matthew 6:8 ESV)
I know Jesus is the Son of God and everything, but this is really ambiguous. He knows what I need but I have to remind Him? I know God’s been around for a long time but I seriously doubt He has any memory loss.
I’ve come to realize and deeply accept that this is yet another biblical instance where I’m praying more to change me than to change my circumstances. It’s true that in much of the world a prayer simply for daily bread could be life changing. Be careful not to interpret this prayer purely through the lens of a Western world view. In many places around the world even children cry out “My God! Please provide bread for me. . . today!” The prayer on its own terms has merit.
Especially for those of who have abundance in provision it is key for our spiritual health to remember where that provision comes from. This part of the prayer is a prayer for us to remember where our provision comes from, not to remind God that He needs to give it. This is as much a prayer of adoration as it is petition. Father, thank you for providing me, today.
Prayer: Everlasting Lord, strong to save, thank You for providing for my daily needs. Thank You for teaching me to depend upon You and You alone. Amen.
About the author:
Chris Surber is the Pastor at Cypress Chapel Christian Church in Suffolk, Virginia. He is a religion columnist for the Suffolk News Herald and a contributor to various Christian publications. You can his website at http://www.chrissurber.com
Search you heart. Where does your “daily bread” come from?
“Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing” is a beautiful song written by the 18th century pastor and hymnist Robert Robinson. Robert Robinson penned the words at age 22 in the year 1757. This version is sung by Chris Rice. There is something special about the old hymns. I hope you enjoy. -Lisa