Give us this day our Daily Bread
As we’ve noted already, the Lord’s Prayer (like the 10 Commandments) begins with God; his holiness, his kingdom, his worth. Then about halfway through the prayer, we come to our needs praying “give us this day, our daily bread.”
Some (who have the luxury of taking food for granted) have struggled with this transition between the glories of heaven and the mundane everyday reality of bread. Attempts have been made to try and solve the problem by spiritualising it, maybe Jesus means us to ask every day for fellowship with him- after all isn’t he “Bread from Heaven” and “the Bread of Life” (Jn 6:32,35)? Well daily fellowship with Jesus is a wonderful thing, of that there is no doubt. But generally when looking to understand the Bible, the simplest interpretation is the best. God cares about the daily needs of his people. All of our needs. The physical as well as the spiritual. The emotional, the relational, they all matter to him, because we matter to him.
It is also important to note that we are to ask him for our daily bread. Not a big massive pension pot so that we don’t need to look to him in the days that lie ahead. Like Moses and the Manna, the best place to be is trusting daily in his loving providence.
This is a deeply countercultural prayer to pray. We want to say -we are taught to say- “everything I have, I have earned. I don’t need to ask or to thank God for my daily bread, I have provided for my needs and for my wants. The bread on my table, the roof over my head the car on my driveway, it is mine because I have earned it.”
You may well have worked long and hard, but who causes the sun to shine, the rain to fall, the crops to grow? Who gave you the opportunity to work, and the measure of health and strength required to do so? He did! “Every good and perfect gift is from above.”
And so we are to acknowledge his loving generous nature as we humbly ask him to keep providing for us.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”Phil 4:6-7