“…give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.” Proverbs 30:8b
The words “daily bread” likely triggered a national memory for the disciples of Jesus. As Jews, they remembered God’s rescue of the Israelites from Egypt (called the Exodus). The Jews started complaining about their lack of food between the rescue from Pharaoh’s army and receiving the Law. God miraculously “rains down bread from heaven” for them, a substance they called “manna” (or “What is it?”).
Except on the Sabbath day of rest, Israelites were to gather this heaven-sent bread every day (Exodus 16). They were to get just enough for that day because God would provide it again on the next. Not too little and not too much. Just enough to meet their needs for that day. It’s the same thing King Agur asked for in Proverbs 30. He wanted only his “daily bread.” He knew receiving too much would tempt him to forget God. Too little could mean stealing and dishonoring God’s name.
Dependence on God involves these two things: (1) recognizing God’s provision and (2) asking him to provide for today. We often want God to provide for the next month or the next year. But The Lord’s Prayer helps us daily focus our dependence on God for whatever we need. It might be our next meal, a job, ongoing physical pain or a healed relationship. Jesus’s teaching on prayer encourages us to identify what we need for today and ask our Father for it.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
As you pray slowly through The Lord’s Prayer today, stop at “Give us today our daily bread” and reflect on God’s provision yesterday. Thank God for providing. Then think through precisely what you might need for today and ask God to provide.
40 DAYS OF PRAYER
Join us for 40 DAYS OF PRAYER where all of us will find a quiet space and slowly read The Lord’s Prayer. May forty days of praying like Jesus prayed, and desiring what Jesus wanted, make a big difference in our hearts and our communities.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
NEW TESTAMENT READING PLAN
Join us this year as we read through the New Testament.
Today’s reading is John 19.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.