We say the Lord’s Prayer in church every Sunday, but how often do we stop and think about what the words actually mean? A few years ago I came across this book in our church library, and it really opened my eyes to the many meanings behind those familiar words.
The book spends one chapter on each phrase: “Our Father,” “Who Art In Heaven,” “Hallowed Be Thy Name,” etc. The chapter that really stuck with me was “Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread.”
I always thought of this phrase in the context of asking God to give us what we need–food, clothing, shelter, etc. But the author also discusses the daily-ness of this prayer. We only need God to take care of us today, to give us what we need to get through today. I know I spend too much energy being anxious about tomorrow, and this is a strong reminder that I only need God to take care of me one day at a time.
The Bible story that underscores this message is from Exodus 16, where God sends manna down from heaven to feed Moses and the Israelites in the desert.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. …”
The people who took more than enough for the day–the people who did not trust God to provide for them again tomorrow–were at best disappointed the next morning.
Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning.”
However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell.
On the other hand, when the Israelites needed a two-day supply because they could not work on the Sabbath, God provided enough for two days:
On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much . . . .
[Moses] said to them, “This is what the Lord commanded: ‘Tomorrow is to be a day of rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.’”
So they saved it until morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink or get maggots in it.
Another message in this prayer for daily bread is that we need to be fed by God every day. It is so easy to get caught up in the busyness of day-to-day life and forget to spend time with God until Sunday comes around–if then.
I have been guilty of this lately. I don’t think I’ve downloaded a Daily Prayer podcast since Easter. I vaguely recall picking up the latest copy of the Our Daily Bread booklet at church a few weeks ago, but I don’t even know where I put it, so I obviously haven’t done any daily devotional reading lately. I’ve been trying to pray instead of worry, but I haven’t spent much time reading God’s Word or listening for His “still small voice.”
Now that I’ve realized how hungry I am for this daily bread, I certainly will re-start this “diet” today.
For more inspiration to eat at the Lord’s Table, check out this sermon from Lauren Stanley.
How do you keep life’s busyness from over-taking your quiet time?