Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Give Us Our Daily Bread

In our prayer that the Lord Jesus supplied us, He teaches what we are unwilling to hear.

Right in the middle of this prayer He teaches us to pray: “Give us this day our daily bread.”

What does this mean? Why is this placed in the center? We tend to want to put it first, asking for this and that need and want of body and soul. Yet the Lord Jesus places it squarely in the center of the prayer that He commands us, “Pray like this.” In our attempts at piety we may even be tempted to place this at the end of our prayers. But not our Lord. He places it in the center, where we cannot miss it.


Because this petition is not what we think it is.

If we examine this prayer carefully, very carefully, and if we examine it from the perspective with which our Lord commands us to pray, we learn that each petition is really a repetition of the previous one, with them all centering upon the central petition of “Give us this day our daily bread.”

If you doubt this, consider what Jesus told Satan.

Matthew 4:3-4
And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Then again in Matthew 6:31-33 the Lord declares:
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Is this not what the Our Father teaches us to pray? If so, then, where do we find our daily bread?

Acts 2:44-47
And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

Is this not what our Lord teaches us to pray in the prayer that He gave to us?

If we prayed with this as our understanding, would we not continually say with David in Psalm 23:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. . . . Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

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