The past is just a memory. The future is only a possibility.
Today is a new day, a day of new challenges and new possibilities, a day that will never come again.
Jesus said, “give us THIS DAY our DAILY bread.” This phrase is one of my favorites and underscores one of the most important principles of this (and every) prayer; the practice of prayer needs to be a daily one.
The idea and concept of daily dependence on God is woven throughout the narrative of the Bible.
- Gathering Manna: “the people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. (Exodus 16:4)
- His Mercies: “His mercies never fail. They are new every morning.” (Lamentations 3:22b-23a.)
- Salvation: “Indeed, the ‘right time’ is now. Today is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:2b NLT)
- Promised Rest: “So God set another time for entering his rest, and that time is today.” (Hebrews 4:7a NLT)
- Discipleship: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. (Luke 9:23)
- Wisdom: “Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at the posts of my doorway.” (Proverbs 8:34)
- Our Burdens: Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. (Psalm 68:19)
As we think about “daily bread,” there are two primary applications–physical bread and spiritual bread.
The most obvious application here is praying for our physical needs. In addition to food, we have financial obligations. We have to pay our bills. There are many material demands that we are responsible for each and every day.
At different times in our lives, these physical needs may be greater or smaller, but whether they are large or small, they are very real.
My grandmother tells the story of her family moving from North Dakota to Minnesota in the 1930’s. They were in the midst of the great depression and there was a terrible drought in North Dakota.
The Brusven family farmed, but there wasn’t enough rain for the crops to grow. The corn crop was so short, that the kids picked the growing stalks of corn that were only a few inches high and fed them to the cows, knowing the stalks wouldn’t grow any taller and would never develop cobs. This was likely the only means of keeping the cows alive.
The family heard that things were better in Minnesota, so they made the decision to leave North Dakota behind and move to Minnesota.
Although she was young at the time, she vividly remembered her first sight of green grass as they drove into Minnesota. For them, prayers for “daily bread” were prayers to survive.
Just as we need daily nourishment for our physical bodies, we also need daily nourishment for our spirits.
If we don’t feed our spirits daily, we will be spiritually malnourished. This is a basic principle, but one that we too often ignore. In light of the chaos we see in our world today, we definitely need spiritual strength.
The result of being spiritually malnourished is similar to being physically malnourished. What happens when we don’t eat? We feel hunger pains. We might feel weak or light-headed. We might even be cranky. It is very similar in the spiritual realm, although sadly, we are often blind to the telltale signs…lack of faith, discouragement, giving in to temptations, prone to worry…..the list goes on and on.
How do we feed our spirit? God’s word and prayer are DAILY essentials.
Jesus illustrated this principle when he was tempted by Satan in the desert.
Jesus had been fasting for 40 days. In typical form, Satan knew exactly where and how to tempt Jesus, tempting him to turn stones into bread. Jesus answered that “man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)
I remember well a sermon on prayer by Pastor Tom Flaherty in the 90’s. His three main points were desire, discipline, and delight.
A rich prayer life starts with a desire for a deeper relationship with God. From there, we have to exercise discipline, much like what is required for physical exercise. You just have to do it. Sometimes, you don’t feel like it, but with discipline, you do it even when you don’t feel like it. Over time, through exercising daily discipline, you can move into “delight,” a place where you can’t wait to spend time in the word and in prayer, because time spent with him is beautiful.
Jesus said “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
Lord, please give us this day our daily bread. You are our daily bread.
9 In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
(King James Version)
About Michelle Landsverk
I am passionate about the Word of God and believe wholeheartedly in the authenticity of scripture. I also believe that the Bible isn’t written in a secret code; God designed it to be read, understood, and lived out by everyday people. I gave my heart to Jesus when I was a child and strive everyday to live a life in which I “act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with my God.” Micah 6:8