“Give us today our daily bread”
The focus of the Lord’s Prayer now changes from God to us – not just to ‘me’. As a member of the Body of Christ – the family of believers – our prayer includes other believers, especially those who will also pray this prayer. We ask for them as well as for ourselves, not wishing that any one of them be left out.
God gives us the order that He sees to be important. The first prayer now is for the food that we need to keep us alive and strengthen us for the day that lies ahead. As He fed the Israelites every day for forty years in the desert so He looks for us to request that He do the same. If daily bread is not an issue for us then we are greatly privileged and should remember all those who will spend the day hungry, not knowing where their next meal will come from or if there will be one. As we pray for not just ‘me’ but for ‘us’ to receive our daily bread we are also including ourselves in God’s distribution chain to the extent that we can share.
I have a friend who was called by God to evangelise the poverty-ridden townships and squatter camps in South Africa. He very quickly realised that people who are desperately hungry find it very difficult to hear and receive a spiritual message. He, therefore, focussed on their primary perceived need and, over the next few years, transported to them tons of food donated by the supermarkets when their shelf life had expired. Not only did he meet the immediate needs of a great number of people, but he established a relationship and a credibility with them that paved the way for the gospel message. Jesus Himself did not ignore the needs of the crowds that followed Him but took time, on occasion, to meet their physical hunger as well. Notice that when He did the people did not receive the bare minimum but all that they needed – and there was still some left over!
However, having said that, daily bread also includes everything that we might require to enable us to live and cope with the responsibilities, challenges and needs that we might face during the day. It is the essential nourishment that we will require of body, spirit, soul and mind, all of which require daily feeding. From encouragement and wisdom, strength and relationships, love and rest, challenge and direction and the many other areas as well, we have great needs that only the Lord can supply and to the extent that is required. He may do so directly or through others – including us.
Feed yourself on healthy food, life-style, daily Scripture, daily prayer, and daily relationships. Give encouragement, love and support to others whenever you can.
Father – give us today our daily bread; through us give to others as well. Amen.