Give us today our daily bread
In this short verse, Jesus encourages us in our prayers to rely on God for our needs. Daily food is totally necessary for our survival. Here, Jesus shows how God cares about our physical needs as well as what He’s previously shared about; God’s Kingdom and God’s glory being made known.
God sees us as holistic. We often tend to think of prayer as being in two categories: the ‘spiritual’ things and the ‘secular’ things – or however else you describe that divide. But here, Jesus dismisses that thinking. We are to ask God for ALL of our needs. Like the necessity of our daily bread, God wants us to ask for the things in life that we need in order to just keep on living.
Jesus also encourages repetition. For every ‘today’ we are to ask God to provide for that day. All good gifts are from God (James 1:17) and sometimes it is easy for us to take for granted, especially in our culture, that our daily needs are gifts from God.
We are utterly dependent on God! It is only by His hand that we have all that we do. Think about the passage in Matthew 6 where Jesus commands us not to worry. It shows how God is the provider of all that we have and need for ‘today’: “for tomorrow will worry about itself.”
Praise Him that He keeps us and provides for us, and invite Him into your needs on a daily basis. Give us our daily bread shows how each day we will need to ask afresh for bread. When we eat, our hunger is satisfied – maybe for a few hours, or perhaps for a day. But we will become hungry again. Our bodies need continual feeding. We are to ask God for this kind of continued provision.
God also loves to provide eternal fulfilment. Though daily bread has a very literal meaning, we can see how this prayer points us to Jesus Himself – the Eternal Bread of Life (John 6).
Bread throughout the Bible is symbolic of God’s provision for His people. Think of manna in the wilderness, Ruth going to Bethlehem – the house of bread – where God provides abundantly. Jesus is God’s ultimate provision for us in His accomplished work of salvation on the cross. So too, we need Jesus daily – we need His love and friendship and redemption through the work of the Holy Spirit, which was sent to help us.
We continuously need God and that is a good thing! As we pray and ask God to bless us and hear our prayers, what are some daily needs that you realise God gives you?
Jesus’ instruction to pray for our daily bread shows us where we forget Him. We may not be in the wilderness in need of manna, but in a sense, our days are a wilderness without God’s continual care for our needs. This should produce in us a joyful humility.
I encourage you today to ask God to give each and every thing you find yourself needing. Notice that we are to ask God to give. We are not asking Him to loan or barter or sell, for Romans 6:23 says: “the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Praise Him that He has made us finite beings who have many needs every second. Praise Him for providing in every aspect of our lives, and ultimately through giving us His Son.