A Fresh Look at the Lord’s Prayer “Give us this day our daily bread.”

*All Scripture quotations are taken from the New Living Translation unless otherwise indicated.

Matthew 6:11

dreamstime_xs_42302875The first thing we notice about this verse is, “Give us this day our daily bread.” God is eager to show himself faithful to us and to involve himself intimately with our everyday lives. The account of the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 precedes Jesus’s admonition in the latter part of the chapter to trust our heavenly Father to meet all of our needs (verses 25-34).

God seems to make pursuit of spiritual needs a priority. In Matthew 4:4, Jesus, in the middle of a forty-day fast, is tempted by Satan to turn wilderness stones into bread. The Savior rebukes the tempter, “‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”  Jesus no doubt spoke from that experience when he told his audience to, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need (Matt. 6:33).”

We are God’s most valuable creation—made in his own image. But our sin marred that image. So Jesus came to this earth as the perfect Man and died for our sins so we might seek and find his kingdom and his righteousness, might be restored to an active, vital relationship with our Father. Everything else flows from that including the abundant life Christ promised us in John 10:10.

In contrast, if we follow the world, we make success and material possessions a requirement for happiness and fulfillment. God either never enters the picture or is simply relegated to a shelf to watch us run our own show. Such a life is only a shadow of the abundance God wants for us.

Jesus described in Matthew 6:26-30 how God feeds the birds of the air who store up no supplies and clothes the wildflowers in elegant beauty. He finished by saying in verse 30, “If God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the firedreamstime_xs_56584800 tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?”

That last statement gives me pause for thought. One thing has troubled me. If our heavenly Father is faithful to provide for his children, then why are there till so many hungry, poverty-stricken people in the world, including Christians?  

We’ll talk about that in my next post.