Our Daily Bread

Home Church Devotional 12/19/2020

These devotionals were written during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic when area churches were not allowed to meet for fear of spreading the coronavirus. They were used in place of a full sermon as my family and I gathered for worship and communion.

“Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]” Matthew 6:9-13 (NASB)

Thus far in our study of The Lord’s Prayer we have learned that Christian prayer is unique and sets the standard for prayer. Christian prayer is genuine, not being filled with empty words and meaningless repetition. Christian prayer is meaningful as it engages our hearts and minds in what we are saying, we lock ourselves away “in secret” to pray “in secret” to the Father who sees “in secret.” We learned in praying “our Father” that we are acknowledging a relationship that is shared with believers around the world, our brothers and sisters in Christ, in addition, heaven is not the place where God resides but rather it is the power and authority of God; we learned as we pray to set apart the name of God in reverence and honor that we might glorify and exalt Him. In verse 10 we learned in praying for God’s kingdom and God’s will we are acknowledging a kingdom already exists with a king and government already in place, making us subject to his rule and reign.

This week, in verse 11, we begin to look at the three petitions we make to God concerning ourselves. The first of these is the petition for our daily bread. This simple request, at least simple of the surface, involves so much more than we realize and might even consciously think about. In asking for bread, we are asking for far more than just literal bread. On this fourth week of Advent, the week of love, the love that Jesus Christ has for us comes squarely and plainly into focus, in this seemingly simple request for bread.

When we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread,” we focus on the present day while acknowledging our daily dependence on the God of all resources.

1). When we pray, “Give us this day…” we are asking for the continuous supply of our daily needs.

We must first notice the words “us” and “our” within this verse. These words are an extension of the first verse of this prayer model. We begin this prayer by announcing God as “our” Father, indicating we are in a shared relationship with God the Father. We pray for the well-being of those we call brother and sister in Christ. We seek for their benefit as well as our own. Here we pray for God to give “us” “our” daily bread. Once again, we are concerned with the well-being of our brothers and sisters in Christ. But there is also the sense that we are praying for those who go to bed with an empty stomach, wherever they may be.

The placement of “this day” or, “today” in some translations, at the end of the Greek sentence structure, indicates that this day, today, the present day is to be our focus – the center of our attention. “This day” is meant to relieve all worry and anxiety over tomorrow and yet future events. We are to live day-by-day on the provision of Christ for this day. Within this day we are to ask for the quantity of food necessary to support our health and strength. Tomorrow will come soon enough and, once again, we will present our request for, this day.

Bread here is a symbol for the necessities of life, we are not to ask for milk and honey, symbols of the luxuries of life. We are seeking for those necessities of life – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual – not just food for our hunger. God cares about our welfare, our mental and emotional well-being, our spiritual well-being as well as our physical bodies and their needs. God cares whether His people are warm, well-fed and well-housed. We seek the necessities of life, a life meant to glorify and honor our Father in heaven.

Within this request is an invitation to come to God with requests that others might consider small or trivial. God cares about the simple, ordinary, day-to-day things of life, and so Jesus uses the very symbol of the most ordinary things we need each day – bread. But there is also something a deeper here we must grasp. By asking for our bread for this day, we are reminded that prayer, like our request for bread, must be offered up each day. No prayer, no request is too small to bring to the One who has created us in His own image.

Likewise, the church is to be the place where members come to be fed from the word of God. Sermons and Bible studies should address everyday issues of life, speaking into the heart of issues faced in society. Encouragement, instruction, teaching, correction and even rebuke should be the standards within the church. Even those who name the name of Jesus need to be reminded of their calling in Christ. We remain stagnant if we do not find the nourishment from God’s word to supply our spiritual, emotional and mental health, to strengthen and support our growth into Christlikeness.

When we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread,” we focus on the present day while acknowledging our daily dependence on the God of all resources.

2). When we pray, …our daily bread,” we are expressing our continuous dependence on the God of all resources.

Once again, we see the word “our” as a reminder we are not prayer for ourselves alone but our brothers and sisters in Christ and those around the world who are going to bed hungry. Intercessory prayer is one of the deepest callings of the Christian life and here we see, within the request for our own provision the opportunity to pray for others in need. The Greek word used for daily here seems to indicate a continuous action or a continuous supply.

The continuous action is on our part, we must continually come to God seeking His provision to sustain us day-to-day. This is the acknowledgement of our complete and total dependence on the God who uses human production and distribution to see to our needs and fulfill His purpose. Thus, we are to live day-by-day, or as the old 70’s country style song goes, one day at a time, sweet Jesus! We can learn from Israel’s reliance upon God as they wandered through the wilderness for forty years. Their bread, manna, was given once a day, by God, to help them develop a continuous, conscious dependence upon God.

Bread was an important symbol throughout the life and ministry of Jesus. Before His birth, the prophet foretold of His birth in the small town of Bethlehem, which means “House of Bread.” In John 6:35, Jesus tells His disciples and the crowd following Him, “I am the Bread of Life.” Jesus has rebuked the crowd for thinking it was Moses who gave them bread from heaven but rather it was God the Father who fed them throughout their journey. In bringing the story full circle, in verse 41 Jesus says, “I am the bread that came down out of heaven.” The Bread of Life has come to the House of Bread to be born and supply our every need, every day, continuously and consistently.

Likewise, the church is to be the place where members are to be taught, encouraged and led by prayer. Prayer should be taught in all the church does. It should be a part of every meeting or gathering. Members should be given the opportunity to pray individually, in small groups and with the corporate body of believers. Prayer should be the standard of the church; it is where we are to learn of our continuous and consistent need for God; prayer is where we pray for ourselves and intercede for others, including our brothers and sisters in Christ; prayer is where we seek the kingdom and will of God the Father.

When we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread,” we focus on the present day while acknowledging our daily dependence on the God of all resources.

Thus far in our study of The Lord’s Prayer we have learned that Christian prayer is unique and sets the standard for prayer. Christian prayer is genuine, not being filled with empty words and meaningless repetition. Christian prayer is meaningful as it engages our hearts and minds in what we are saying, we lock ourselves away “in secret” to pray “in secret” to the Father who sees “in secret.” We learned in praying “our Father” that we are acknowledging a relationship that is shared with believers around the world, our brothers and sisters in Christ, in addition, heaven is not the place where God resides but rather it is the power and authority of God; we learned as we pray to set apart the name of God in reverence and honor that we might glorify and exalt Him. In verse 10 we learned in praying for God’s kingdom and God’s will we are acknowledging a kingdom already exists with a king and government already in place.us subject to his rule and reign.

This week, in verse 11, we begin to look at the three petitions we make to God concerning ourselves. The first of these is the petition for our daily bread. This simple request, at least simple of the surface, involves so much more than we realize and might even consciously think about. In asking for bread, we are asking for far more than just literal bread. On this fourth week of Advent, the week of love, the love that Jesus Christ has for us comes squarely and plainly into focus, in this seemingly simple request for bread.

If there is one thing that should be clear about the model of prayer we call The Lord’s Prayer, it is this, prayer is essential to the Christian life. Thus far in our study we have learned what it means to call God our Father, to hallow the name of God, to pray for God’s kingdom and will and now, this week, we learn the importance of praying every day for our day-to-day needs, not just physical needs but mental, emotional and spiritual as well. God cares for our physical well-being; He cares about our mental well-being and He gave His only Son for our spiritual well-being. The choice is once again in your hands. Will you seek the provisions of God for your day-to-day life or will you play it by chance and see what comes?

On this week, as we celebrate love, Jesus came that we might have life. He is the bread of life come down out of heaven to provide for our daily needs to strengthen and support our health; He is the bread of life com to lay down His life that we might have eternal life and He has come that we might have life in abundance – without anxiety or worry for tomorrow. Are you trusting in the Bread of Life for your daily needs? May the provisions of God sustain you and strengthen you and may the love of God comfort and warm you.

Amen and Amen.

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