A Deeper Look At The Lord's Prayer
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread
Here we come to the fourth petition in this prayer and we notice a difference at this point in the model Jesus is giving us. The previous petitions were all about God, and this is the first petition that specifically mentions us.
But we need to understand something, this is still all about God getting glory.
When God gives a gift it is him who gets the glory not the receiver of the gift. That is something I think we will do well to remember as we look at the rest of this model prayer.
Remember this is a model prayer, not a prayer that we necessarily need to repeat word for word but a model in which to form our prayers after.
“Us” and “Our”
This is the way this prayer began, saying “ Our Father” and now we are asking in a way that is not just about ourselves as individuals. This speaks to the community of believers, God created us and saved us to be in covenant community with one another, and that includes praying as a community.
Genesis 2:18 Then the LORD God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him."
Once I was talking to a man about his faith, he said he was a Christian but informed me he hadn't went to Church in decades. We had a conversation about that and finally he said to me that he didn't have to go to Church to be a Christian to which I agreed. I then shared with him passages about how the Bible uses marriage language many times to talk about the Church and Christ. I asked him if he thought a husband and wife could be married but not live together or spend time with one another? Of course they could he replied. Would we say that that marriage was healthy for the couple or a good example of a strong marriage I asked. He got the point.
God created us to be a people of community, being part of one another's lives and even praying together and for one another.
“This Day” and “Daily”
Jesus taught his disciples to pray for daily bread.
Daily bread is the balance between poverty and excess. Why?
Proverbs 30:8-9 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.
We read in Exodus 16 that God gave Manna from heaven, and it was only enough for the day.
If I seek to much I'm in danger of loving the gift more than the giver, if I receive to little I might be discontent and seek satisfaction somewhere else.
So we should pray, give me my daily bread; exactly what it is I need today
Praying for our Physical Needs
Food- The human body can typically only go 30-40 days without food
Water – The human body can only go 1-3 days without water
Clothing – People all over the world die of exposure, heat and cold everyday.
Shelter- Not having shelter is like not having clothing, it brings on exposure
If you have ever watched survival shows on TV you know that securing these basic needs when abandoned in the wild is crucial, we NEED these things to survive.
Our immediate tendency is to think that those things come from our own efforts and the work of our own hands, but let's take a deeper look at that.
How do we get those Needs according to scripture?
Some might be quick to say that they have their needs met because they have a job. But why do you have that job?
You may have it because of your skills which according to scripture are a blessing from God.
Exodus 28:2-3 And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty. You shall speak to all the skillful, whom I have filled with a spirit of skill, that they make Aaron's garments to consecrate him for my priesthood.
Perhaps you believe you have a Job because of your knowledge, your ability to understand what is required for your Job. This too comes from God.
1 Kings 4:29 And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore,
You are able to work because of your health. God created your body, by his mercy we live healthy.
Through these examples we can see that we should be continuously in prayer for the supply of these physical things and also thankful for them.
Praying for our Spiritual Needs
John 6:31-35 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; ......
John 4:6-14 ...so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, "How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?" (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water." The woman said to him, "Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock." Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
Romans 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
1 Corinthians 15:53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.
Ephesians 4:22-24 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
Colossians 3:10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
1 Peter 2:3-5 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
In keeping all these things in mind when we pray "Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread" there should be a response it creates in us.
First Humility. We should realize our dependency for our needs to be met daily
Also Thankfulness. These thoughts should well up in us a root of thankfulness, understanding that we don't deserve anything yet God takes care of us.
What is the daily bread you need today?
Is it some physical need? Then ask God for it.
Is it a spiritual need? Do you need the bread of life, the living water, the robe of righteousness?
Then repent and believe upon the the Lord and you will have it.
It is a free offer, it can't be bought, it can't be earned, it can only be given by God himself. You only need to ask, to trust, to believe.