“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Matthew 6:9-11
As humans, we have everything in common. I mean, we are all either men or women; we all have red blood; we all have internal organs; we all have DNA. And we all eat, need shelter, need clothing. These are all physical attributes or needs of humanity that are true regardless of race, location, or beliefs. Jesus taught us to request them every minute of our lives. They aren’t guaranteed; they are provided.
Praying this prayer – “give us today our daily bread” – praises God as the source and provider of everything. It acknowledges that we have needs that He and only He satisfies. And it affirms our relationship with Him, stating how we go to Him in faith that He can and will grant us what we request (namely everything we know of).
Bread. Plainly speaking, it’s just food. It’s just bread: something every culture in history has prepared and eaten. Loaves, pita, cakes, tortillas, ekmek, crackers: pick your kind, it’s all bread. This verse, however, is a “both/and.” We need physical bread to survive, yet Jesus also said He had bread to eat which we knew nothing about. He meant that He would live (and thrive) on His Father’s commands. On the Word. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus tells us to do the same thing: to ask the Father to provide spiritual nourishment to us that is more important than physical nourishment.
He meant Himself because Jesus is that nourishment. His body, given in Communion, is the spiritual nourishment for all our physical ailments. He is the bread of life, the way of satisfying every need we could comprehend. He knows we need to feed regularly, multiple times per day, to live and stay healthy. He is that food. Feasting on Him, of God yet of the earth as well, will sate the hunger we have for vitality and satisfaction. In fact, He is the only bread that matters.
Humans need basic needs to be fulfilled every day, and Jesus gave us this provision of the Lord’s Prayer to remind us of that. To remind us to go to the Father every day in what we think, say, and do and ask Him to provide us with everything every day. He tells us to ask for spiritual nourishment, food for the body, and ways to meet every need we have. Farming can’t do that. Science can’t do it. Neither can vocation, relationships, pleasures, or thrills. Only God the Father can give us each day our daily bread. He uses all those things to provide bread and so much more than any of us could ever imagine.
For more reading: John 4:32-34, John 6:35, 1 Corinthians 11:24, Matthew 6:12
Father, thank You for providing me with everything to nourish my soul and body and meet all my needs.