Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Matthew 6:9-13 (ESV)
Having thoroughly exhorted us to pray that in all things God would have preeminence; in this fourth petition Jesus has given us the privilege of requesting that our bodily needs be met. “Give us this day our daily bread” is a simple prayer entreating God to grant us today the bread that is necessary for this day.
Let’s look at this petition in two parts.
1. “Give us” would seem that we are to pray for more than one person. And Jesus may well of had in mind for this prayer to be prayed during a gathering of the community of believers. Since the community of believers does not gather each day we can pray this prayer for each other as the body of Christ. Also, as the heads and priests of their households, it seems only fitting that the husband/father should offer this prayer on behalf of their families.
2. “This day our daily bread” seems to convey the message that we are supposed to pray this every day for that days provision. We are told not to worry about tomorrow. Jesus said, Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:34 ESV) Our petition should include not only what we eat (bread), but also everything we need to sustain physical life. The apostle Paul told us, . . . do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6 ESV)
Our heavenly Father knows our needs before we ask (Luke 12:30). Yet, he bids us to ask with this promise: Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:7-11 ESV)
This petition in the Lord’s Prayer recognizes that God alone is the source of our existence and from him alone comes our provision (2 Peter 1:3) The apostle Paul wrote, And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19 ESV) So, let us not forget that Man shall not live by bread alone, but every word that comes for the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4 ESV).
Do you ask God daily to provide for you? Do you trust him to provide?
Scriptures for meditation: