“Give us today our daily bread.” Matthew 6:11, NIV
“What A New Day Can Bring!”
Sometimes, the less said is the most heard. This may be why Jesus gave us a direct and simple forth petition in the great prayer that He taught the disciples. The prayer was not as much for Jesus; as it was for His students who, through one whom they edged forward, asked their Teacher for instructions in praying. We note the interest of the disciples in the “how to” for praying. Jesus then taught them what the content of prayer should be; and not just a ritualistic order. Our human instinct is more often interested in “how to;” than in understanding the importance and efficacy of “why” and “what” we do. When we read or recite the full prayer given to the disciples; we also will learn as we follow the life of Jesus, how He incorporated the principles of the prayer in His own life. In the practical petition of the prayer, where we are encouraged to ask for daily sustenance and nourishment, we can learn more about the importance of life and living. The petition is for “each day’s provision of need.” Bread, which was so common in ancient times, was a staple for life. But the term meant more than wheat or barley. The request is to receive whatever “provision” we need to sustain and strengthen our lives, each day of our lives. The provision would be equal to the need. Nothing less, nor excessive; but just what was needed for that time. Jesus was no doubt aware of a sentiment from a petitioner many centuries earlier, who prayed similarly. In the sacred wisdom literature, the one praying says: “Give me just enough to satisfy my needs.” (Proverbs 30:8b, NLT). The one praying admits if he received excessively more than what he needed, he might have forgotten God. However, if he received far less, and was reduced to poverty, he might turn to a wicked life. The petitioner was not making a bribe, but was grateful, for his specific needs being fulfilled. Someone has said, “It’s not what we bring to a day; it’s what a new day brings to us.” As the evening shades fall upon the earth, we should look to the next day; trusting the God of Provision, to give us what we need to sustain and strengthen our lives. This is the essence of the words Jesus has given us!