When looking at the Lord’s Prayer as an example to follow, we are tempted to run or rush through the first few lines to get to this one, “Give me Food / I need __________”
Or as you know it, “Give us this day our daily bread”
When you’re hungry, you wanna get to the kitchen as fast as possible. Sometimes that’s how we approach prayer. That’s why Jesus doesn’t start with this phrase, but with what we’ve talked about in our earlier talks/posts: Father, Holy, Kingdom come, Will be done, is where Jesus wants us to start.
The first 3 petitions of this prayer (in Matthew) reorient our lives, our imaginations, our language to the presence and action of God.
The first 3 pronouns are “Your”
The final 3 pronouns are “Us”
After we understand who we’re praying to, what his purpose and intent is, we can move to asking him for what we need – The Basics. Pass the bread please!!!
We should be weary of the both extremes these two words lend themselves too. Are we the one who is always asking? For every little thing? Who rushes to the kitchen when we arrive at someone’s home? Give me this & give me that? Or, are we the one who never asks for anything? Who is either too afraid or possibly too proud to ask for something? Both extremes are faulty.
Jesus says, when you pray, don’t be afraid to ask for what you need.
Remember that you and I need God. He is our provider.
Today is a very important word in this prayer. Our tendency is to jump ahead, to worry about tomorrow, to be anxious about what we can’t control – the future.
Jesus says, “Give us this day” “Give us today”.
Prayer reminds us that we live one day at a time. That we are provided for one day at a time.
First century labour wasn’t like we know it. The worker knew only that they worked that day – they got paid at the end of that day – a few sick days in a row could be tragic. When they prayed these words, they knew what it meant to pray for today…to pray for more work and more pay and more food for today and tomorrow.
Jesus’ words a little further in Matthew 6 help us understand this even better. He teaches us not to worry about tomorrow, to trust that God will provide for our very basic and daily needs.
Praying daily…for one day at a time is the way to an emotionally healthy and gracious life. We combat things like consumerism (I want this), and technology (I don’t need you), and money & machines (if these work I don’t need to pray).
Our Daily Bread…
If we can get to the point that we pray, and ask, and seek, what are we asking for? Bread.
Bread means provision. God did, does and will provide.
Bread means that we are asking for basic needs…and specific needs.
Bread can mean that God provides in a fresh way, in a variety of ways, in a daily manner, for my growth and nutrition.
Bread also means that God sets the table for community…and parties…and friendships. (i.e.Biblical Kingdom theme of Party & Banquet, Jesus ate and drank with so many…he facilitated parties)
Bread is also…JESUS (I am the bread of life)
In Luke’s version of this prayer, Bread is at the centre. Bread is central to the prayer.
Sure…don’t turn prayer into a shopping list, but please don’t forget that God wants you to ask for basic and specific things.
Give them today, their daily bread…
Any time we ask for ourselves, and any time God provides, it must turn our prayers towards and for others in need. In the context of scripture, we can’t pray for ourselves without praying for others. God sets the table for us – we must in turn set the table for others.
Our daily Bread
What do you need today? What are you asking for today? What are you seeking for today? What are you knocking at the door for today?
According to Jesus, you need to bring that need, that petition, that request, to God, our Father.
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Small(er) Group Discussion: (video recap)
We’ve walked through a little more than half of The Lord’s Prayer so far. What are some observations, insights or questions you might have?
Do you appreciate the way Jesus laid his prayer out? Father first, Kingdom & Will second, Bread third? ETC?
Would you like to comment on our first two conversations: Our Father & Kingdom & Will? Anything resonate with you about either of them?
– Our Father who are in Heaven, Holy is your name (blog post)
– Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven (blog post)
What side do you tend to be on when it comes to asking God for help? Are your prayers a little too much like a shopping list? Or are you the one who never asks for anything? Why do you think you lean to one side or the other?
How important is trust in this part of the prayer? What does trust in God help us combat in ourselves?
How can Matthew 6:19-34 help us understand God’s heart about our basic needs?
What are the most important words in this phrase for you? Give us, Today, or Bread? Why?
Anything you wanna ask God for today?