Yesterday, Pastor Chris Jarrett shared a message that helped unpack the two important meanings of the request Jesus taught us to pray, “Give us today our daily bread.” The first meaning is pretty straightforward; Jesus is encouraging us to ask God to supply what we need for today. Not just bread to eat (especially if you have a gluten allergy) but all that meets our physical needs for the day.
Daily bread is everything included int he necessities and nourishment for our bodies, such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, farm, fields, livestock, money, property, an upright spouse, upright children, upright members of the household, upright and faithful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, decency, honor, good friends, faithful neighbors. – Martin Luther (The Small Catechism)
That is a pretty substantial list, and for those who may have started reading this article thinking they didn’t have much to pray for when it comes to this line of the prayer, you may be rethinking that assumption. The scriptures tell us that God not only provides these things to us for our survival but also for our enjoyment (see 1 Timothy 6:17b). I don’t know about you, but having a huge meal set before me but having no appetite to eat it because I’m sick, is not the kind of provision I am asking God to provide.
Better a small serving of vegetables with love than a fattened calf with hatred – Proverbs 15:17 (NIV)
The second meaning of this portion of the prayer deals with our daily spiritual nourishment. We’ll look at that topic in more detail tomorrow, but today I would like you to read through Luther’s list again. What stands out to you? What do you need? For most of us, food, drink, clothing, and shoes are not our biggest need. We have houses for our cars (garages), but most of our cars are homeless because we have kicked them out of their house to store the extra stuff we have that doesn’t actually fit in our house anymore. We also have food in our cupboards, refrigerators, and freezers that are way past their “sell-by-date.” But how many of us lack upright relatives and relationships? How many of us could use a good friend or faithful rulers?
Go ahead and make a list. God knows what you need before you ask Him, but that doesn’t mean He doesn’t want you to ask. Be honest with Him. Ask Him.
Today, I need…