Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church - Marshfield, WI

Fourth Petition of the Lord\'s Prayer

March 28 - Give us this day our daily bread.

What does this mean? God certainly gives daily bread to everyone without our prayers, even to all evil people, but we pray in this petition that God would lead us to realize this and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.

What is meant by daily bread? Daily bread includes everything that has to do with the support and needs of the body, such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, home, land, animals, money, goods, a devout husband or wife, devout children, devout workers, devout and faithful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, self-control, good reputation, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.

Daily bread.  God has it and God gives it.

And God gives daily bread to everyone.  He doesn’t wait for us to ask for it.  He gives it plenty.  He gives it to the righteous and the wicked.  This is what Jesus says makes his Father perfect.  God is perfect because he gives to all.  He doesn’t give out of merit or reward.  He gives because it flows from God’s character and grace.
So why pray for daily bread?  Why ask when God already gives it and gives it to everyone?  What is the point of this petition?

We pray that we would realize this.  Mankind’s problem is that we are often dumb brutes.  We either expect things to work out the way they are supposed to because that is just how it works or because we have deserved it.
No one stops to think about what has been given and to give thanks to God.  The proof comes in the small things that we take for granted every day.  That breath you just took.  Thanks be to God.  You didn’t float into space today because of gravity?  Thanks be to God.  We could go forever on just the first few moments of the day.  Your heartbeat, your lungs breathed, your eyes opened.  All of it, thanks be to God.  You didn’t deserve it.  God just gave it and he delights to give it.

So we pause to give thanks.  This petition alone is enough work to do in a day that it would take all your day to live this petition.

We pray that we would realize God’s daily bread.  Everything that we need to make it through the day.  It isn’t just the meal before it.  It is everything that brought us to the moment we are now at.
The difference between Christians and non-Christians, especially in their prayers, is in giving God thanks for what he gives as our Creator, Father, and Lord.

A better prayer life is always matched due to being more thankful.  And to be more thankful, one must realize that we deserve nothing that we have received.  I don’t even deserve to live; it is by sheer grace and by sheer gift from God.  And when you realize this, it causes us to direct thanks and praise to God.  
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