Give us this day our daily bread.
Today’s passage is a personal request. It is an appeal for a particular day’s portion of food. There are three words that help me understand this petition.
Necessity. When Jesus instructs me to pray for bread, he is using a part of what I need—bread—to represent all that I need. Here is a request for the necessities of the day. I don’t even know exactly what I will need for the day. So, this prayer is asking God to give me all I need to do what he is calling me to do today—not for tomorrow or next week, but for today.
Dependence. As I come to ask God for the necessities of my day, I am reminded of my total dependence on him for everything—food, shelter, relationships, the air that I breathe. Praying for my daily bread reminds me that I am reliant on God for everything—from the biggest to smallest issues of my life.
Continual. Children grow into independence from their parents. But that’s not how it works with the heavenly Father. This prayer of dependence never ends. Spiritual growth produces more dependence. Tomorrow I’ll return to request the necessities for another day.
Let our prayer be patterned after Agur’s request in Proverbs 30:8-9:
Father, “remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or lest I be poor and steal, and profane the name of my God.” In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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