Give Me This Day My Daily Bread
I remember when I was a child my parents, but mainly mom, did nightly prayers with me every night. But one night my father, being his often intellectual self came into my room and drew on a piece of paper the parts of prayer: ACTS= Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. He did this to help me structure my prayers for when I wanted to talk to God privately. When we look at the Lord’s Prayer, often called the “Perfect Prayer,” we see all of the elements of ACTS.
Specifically speaking I want to look at the line in the prayer that says, “Give me this day my daily bread.” What does Jesus mean here? If you recall back in Deuteronomy 8:3 when Moses gave instructions to the Israelites and talked about manna, he said “man shall not live by bread alone but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” And Jesus restates this in Matthew 4:4.
This line is a sort of inter-cessionary prayer. It’s where we’re asking for the Bread of Life [Jesus] to build us spiritually, as normal bread builds us physically. But also, we’re asking God to provide our daily needs [job, car, house, supplies, food, relationships]. He knows the plans He has for our lives and what we need to carry out those plans.
But if I may, I’d like to take this line a step further. This past summer was quite a difficult summer for me. And I was speaking to a dear friend and she pointed out that God was calling me to a quiet season, where He was only putting in front of me what I needed and not a ounce more. Sometimes in life when we’re needing something: a job, trying to have a baby, applying to buy a house, etc, and we’re doing all we can to get this thing- applying for jobs like crazy, trying all kinds of techniques to have a baby, putting in offers for a bunch of houses, but nothing is happening, perhaps God is saying:
“I don’t want you to apply like crazy today. I want you to get up, brush your teeth, eat breakfast- or go to work, or go sit by the lake and read, or watch a movie, or relax, or spend more time with Me, or spend more time with friends/ family- then return home, have dinner, and go to bed. Stop trying to exhaust yourself. Today your daily bread is let go, do what I have put in front of you (stop applying to where it’s making you crazy), and let me work out what you’re asking me for.”
Lets learn to take each day, the DAILY bread that God is giving us. As Rick Warren nicely put it once: “Each day God gives you the grace you need to get through that day. When you start worrying about tomorrow and the next day and the next day you are borrowing grace that God hasn’t given you yet. The Lord’s Prayer doesn’t say ‘give me this week, month, or year(s) my daily bread,’ but give me this day. So take what God gives you each day.
Happy Thanksgiving weekend, to my fellow Americans! We all have so much to be thankful for, don’t we? The mere fact that God woke you up this morning and kept you alive while you read this post is a blessing isn’t it?