We pray the Lord’s Prayer every Sunday in worship together, and perhaps you pray that prayer as a family or personally at other times in your week. You know it well, you have it memorized. It is also good to be reminded and pause to reflect on what those words mean that you are praying. Lent is an important season for us to slow down and reflect on all Jesus did for us as he journeyed to the cross to be broken for us. Take time out of your normal routine and make space to be with Jesus, the Bread of Life.
“Give us this day our daily bread.”
In Luther’s small catechism he helps explain this part of the prayer. If you are anything like me, it may have been awhile since you read your catechism so I thought this review would be really helpful.
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 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.
Luther asks some more meaningful questions.
Take away our “daily bread” - namely, the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, the homes that shelter us, the government that protects us - and we die. Since these things are so important, why do we take them for granted and not express gratitude for them? What habits and practices can help me to better recognize how God sustains my life each day?”
What do we mean by “daily bread’?
“Bread” is a biblical way of summarizing all that we need to sustain our lives on earth.
Isaiah 55:2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to Me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.”
Why do we specify “daily” bread in this petition?
“Daily” highlights how every moment and every day of our lives depend upon God’s provision.
For what, then, do we pray in this petition?
We pray that, in humility,
we would look to God for what we need each day so that we do not worry about the future;
we would receive all our physical blessings with thanksgiving;
we would find contentment with what we have received.
(Luther’s Small Catechism pages 258-261)
Jesus says, I am the Bread of Life. He is the one who ultimately sustains us and gives us life. We are asking for Jesus to be our everything. We need Him each and every day. Like the song by Matt Maher says:
Lord, I need you oh I need you.
Every hour I need you,
Your my one defense
Oh, God how I need you.
Where sins runs deep,
Your grace is more,
Where grace is found,
Is where you are.
And where you are
Lord I am free
Holiness is Christ in me
So teach my song to rise to you
When temptation comes my way
When I cannot stand I’ll fall on you
Jesus your my hope and stay
Lord, I need you Oh I need you
Every hour I need you
My one defense
Oh, God how I need you.
Holiness is Christ in me. We take the bread that is given us and we eat it. Jesus was broken for us, and he gives us his very body to take and eat. He is our everything. And our response is THANKSGIVING each and every day.