What did the Lord Jesus mean by this? We usually hear from this the wonderful explanation that Dr. Luther supplies in the Small Catechism.
However, considering the context of the entire prayer, could it be that the Lord was teaching much more to us as His disciples?
Consider His declaration to the Jews in John 6:26-35.
Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? What dost thou work? 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; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
With this declaration from the lips of the Lord, does the Fourth Petition sound richer and fuller? Is there a reason that this sits in the middle of the prayer that He gave, saying, “When you pray, pray this”? Could it be that the Lord means for us to receive this petition as more than the center of the prayer but also the very foundation of our life of faith?
Since Jesus declares that faith in Jesus is the work of God, does it not seem fitting that He would teach us to pray that our Father in heaven would daily give us this bread of faith for our life in Him?
Wouldn’t you agree that this is “food” for thought?