One of the primary features of this prayer is its simplicity. It encapsulates the essence of our basic needs and desires, as it centers around the provision of daily bread. Bread, in this context, represents not merely a staple food item, but also symbolizes nourishment and sustenance necessary for survival. By focusing on this fundamental need, the prayer reminds us of the importance of recognizing and appreciating the basic blessings in our lives.
The Lord’s Prayer, also known as the Our Father or Pater Noster, is one of the most well-known and widely recited prayers in Christianity. It is found in the New Testament of the Bible, specifically in the book of Matthew (6:9-13) and Luke (11:2-4). One of the essential petitions within this prayer is the request for “daily bread.” But what does this mean, and how can we understand and apply it in our lives?
Understanding the Lord’s Prayer
The Lord’s Prayer is a significant part of Christian tradition, and it serves as a model for how believers should pray. It was given by Jesus himself in response to his disciples’ request to teach them how to pray. The prayer encompasses various aspects of life, including God’s name being hallowed, His kingdom coming, His will being done on earth as it is in heaven, forgiveness of sins, and protection from temptation and evil. Among these elements, the request for daily bread stands out as a plea for sustenance.
How do I ask God for daily bread?
Asking God for daily bread in the Lord’s Prayer is symbolic of asking for our daily needs to be met. It’s a reminder that we should depend on God for our basic provisions, acknowledging that everything we have ultimately comes from Him. This request reflects both a physical need for nourishment and a spiritual need for sustenance.
When we ask God for daily bread, we are expressing our trust in Him as our provider. It’s an act of surrender, acknowledging that God is the ultimate source of our sustenance. We are essentially saying, “Lord, I rely on You for my daily needs.” This petition reminds us that we should not worry about tomorrow but trust that God will provide for us each day.
What Verses Are Daily Bread?
The phrase “daily bread” can be traced back to the New Testament, specifically in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 6, verse 11, and the Gospel of Luke, chapter 11, verse 3, where the Lord’s Prayer is presented.
Matthew 6:11 (NIV)
“Give us today our daily bread.”
Luke 11:3 (NIV)
“Give us each day our daily bread.”
These verses emphasize the importance of seeking God’s provision for our daily needs. It’s a simple but profound reminder that we should trust God to meet our basic requirements, whether they are related to food, shelter, or any other essential aspect of life.
How Do You Pray for the Bread of Life?
While the Lord’s Prayer includes a request for “daily bread,” it’s essential to recognize that bread in a broader spiritual context represents not only physical sustenance but also the spiritual nourishment that comes from God. This spiritual aspect is often referred to as the “bread of life.”
John 6:35 (NIV)
“Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.'”
When you pray for the bread of life, you are seeking a deeper connection with God and asking for spiritual nourishment. It’s an acknowledgment that Jesus is the source of spiritual sustenance and eternal life. By seeking the bread of life, you are expressing your desire for a closer relationship with God and a greater understanding of His Word.
As we read this prayer our Lord gave, remember it is the model prayer. The Lord did not say “Pray this prayer,” but “Pray in this manner.” He taught us something wonderful about prayer: it’s not the length of our prayer, the logic of our prayer, or the language of our prayer, but the faith, the focus, and the force of our prayer that causes it to be heard in heaven.
“Bread” in this prayer is really symbolic of any need you have. Do you have a need today? God delights to meet your need.
Here are four important steps to follow when praying for “daily bread.”
A Proper Priority
Notice the priority in this prayer:
First comes God’s name, His kingdom, and His will. Only after that comes our need, “Give us this day our daily bread.” If you don’t get that priority straight, you’ll never have power in prayer.
God is not a heavenly bellhop, running around to meet your needs. Prayer is not the way man gets his will done in heaven. Prayer is the way God gets His will done on earth. It’s important we understand this. Jesus Christ summed it up in Matthew 6:33: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
If you don’t establish that priority, you’re not going to get your prayers answered.
Answered prayer is not for rebels. Why should God answer your request for daily bread if you’re not going to use that strength to serve Him? You must pray “Thy will” before you pray “our bread.” Give Him first place. The one place God will not work is second place.
Is the burning, consuming desire of your heart that His name be glorified, His kingdom come, and His will be done? Matthew 6:33 will remain only an unreached promise if you’ve not put it to practice.
Your Prayerful Petition
Another reason some people don’t have their needs met: they don’t ask. It’s that simple.
You simply say, “Lord I have a need.” Many people have not because they ask not (James 4:2). You deny yourself when you don’t pray. Prayer is the key that unlocks heaven’s treasury.
God answers prayer. The One Who created the universe, the great eternal God, says that I can call upon Him and He will answer me and show me great and mighty things (Jeremiah 33:3).
A Proper Perspective
This doesn’t mean you have the key to Fort Knox or you’re going to get everything you want. It doesn’t say God’s going to meet our greed. God is going to meet our need, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:19) “Give us…our daily bread,” may be also translated “give us this day bread sufficient for us.” Our Lord taught us to pray for bread, not for cake. Sometimes we want things we don’t need. And sometimes we need things we don’t want. Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and God will delight to meet your need.
Your Personal Part
Prayer is not a substitute for work or diligence. If you pray for bread, do you know how to say Amen? Work for it.
“By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground” (Genesis 3:19).
“…’The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10).
“Slugards do not plow in season; so at harvest time they look but find nothing” (Proverbs 20:4).
“Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty” (Proverbs 28:19).
Too lazy to plow? Then you won’t have anything to eat. God doesn’t bless laziness or indolence.
Don’t sit back and say, “I’m going to show my faith by doing nothing.” To the contrary! You will show your faith by doing something, for faith without works is dead.
Jesus is heaven’s bread for earth’s hunger. He became the Bread of Life so you and I could have our deepest hunger met.
Do you know Jesus? Friend, if you had bread to spare and died and went to hell, so what? If you don’t have Jesus, there’s a hidden hunger never satisfied until it’s satisfied in the Lord Jesus Christ. “Man shall not live by bread alone” (Matthew 4:4). When you go to bed tonight, have that Bread in your heart. His name is Jesus. He’ll be sufficient for tomorrow.
In conclusion, the Lord’s Prayer is a powerful and timeless prayer that encompasses various aspects of life, including the request for daily bread. When we ask God for daily bread, we are expressing our dependence on Him for our physical and spiritual sustenance. This prayer serves as a reminder of our need to trust in God’s provision and seek the bread of life that comes from a deep relationship with Him. It is a beautiful and meaningful way to approach God in prayer, seeking His blessings for our daily needs and our spiritual growth.