“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:
“Our Father 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 lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. “
Give us this day our daily bread
I’m sure that most, if not all, of us have seen the embarrassing boldness of a little child asking for something they want. They walk into the situation with no sign that there is even a hint of shame or inappropriateness to what they are about to do, and just state bluntly whatever it is their little hearts are set on. For them they know that the big people are there to provide, and so with that as a foundation they live out there lives fully convinced that this will happen. There is nothing to small or big for those around them to provide, and so we see the little ones around us asking for the 8th cookie at coffee hour, a pony to put in their 4 foot by 8 foot backyard, or their father’s boss for a raise for their dad.
Now last week we focused on the first part of the Lord’s Prayer, and we talked about how our attention shouldn’t be on the things we need, but instead on the One we are addressing. This is important because it is only when our prayers are grounded in the reality that we are in communication with our Father that we are truly praying and not engaged in magic. In this type of dialogue we are brought to a place were we have to trust in our Father, because it is not about us at all, but Him.
With that trust in place we make one beautiful request….. “Give us this day our daily bread.” That’s it. Our great prayer for God sustaining us is 7 words in English, and just covers this day, not 8 years into the future. It is a petition that not only demands a trust in God, but also creates an on going dependency on His DAILY provisions. We in a way become like the Israelites in the desert who have to just have faith that the next morning the ground would once again be covered with heaven’s gifts.
My question then is what is your daily bread that you need? Is it actual food, a job, peace in your home and in your heart, healing, faith, or something you can’t exactly pinpoint? In the end it doesn’t exactly matter how big or small the need is, because, as Jesus so clearly says, God knows our needs and wants to provide. He wants us to trust in His infinite love, and come to His throne confident in the promises that we have the right to cry out “Abba Father.” When we can do this God will lavishly give us what He has stored up for us in the heavenly places. We may not be rich, but we will be sustained, and we may feel like we are breaking, but He is preparing us to shine like a bonfire on a hilltop.