Give us today 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 us understand this petition.
Necessity. When Jesus instructs us to pray for bread He is using a part of what we need — bread — to represent all that we need. Here is a request for the necessities of the day. We don’t even know exactly what we will need for the day. Therefore, this prayer is asking God to give us all we need to do what He is calling each of us to do today — not for tomorrow or next week — but for today.
Dependence. As we ask God for the necessities of our day, we are reminded of our total dependence on Him for everything — food, shelter, relationships, even the air that we breathe. Praying for our daily bread reminds us that we are dependent on God for everything, from the biggest to smallest issues of our lives.
Continual. Children grow into independence from their parents, but that’s not how it works with the heavenly Father. The prayer of dependence never ends. Spiritual growth produces more dependence. Tomorrow we will request the necessities for another day.
Let our prayer be patterned after Agur’s request in Proverbs 30:8-9:
Father, “Keep falsehood and lies far from me; 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.” In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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