“In the fourth request (Give us today our daily bread) we pray that we may receive an adequate amount of the good things in this life as a free gift of God and that with them we may enjoy His blessing.” – Shorter Catechism Q. 104
Here Jesus models for me to pray for my needs to be met with an attitude of thanksgiving, enjoyment, contentment, and generosity.
Most of the time I am not content with praying that just my basic daily needs would be met. My prayers are heavily influenced by an advertising culture that creates strong appetites for status, wealth, health, entertainment, travel, and security within me.
My prayers become a wish list for all the things I think will make my life meaningful and significant. I can easily find myself anxiously praying about how I will afford all that I dream of owning or doing. My prayers are driven by my fear of missing out or fear of not being amazing.
Rather than comparing myself with others and longing for what they have, I need to train my heart to pray, “Give me today my daily bread.” There are so many good verses that can lead and guide my prayers for my needs; this is one of my favourites.
“Two things I ask of you, Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord? Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.” (Proverbs 30:7-9 NIV)
In addition, I often don’t realize just how dependent my daily bread is on things outside of my control: political peace, justice, and good government. So I am learning to ask God to give our leaders wisdom, protection against corruption, a spirit of servant leadership, and good stewardship. I pray that they will govern so that our citizens can experience peace, prosperity, and protection from war.
We would do well to pray that we as citizens would be diligent with the work of our hands and yet charitable and gracious to one another.
Rather than comparing myself with others and longing for what they have, I need to train my heart to pray, “Give me today my daily bread.”Corey Porter
As dependent creatures, it is critical to acknowledge that we are dependent on God for our daily sustenance: food. We pray for good weather, strength to work, and a good return on our work.
We can also pray that each one of us would manage well what has been entrusted to us and give generously to those who are in need. Jesus invested a lot of his earthly ministry transforming our attitudes towards pursuit of wealth.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:25-34 NIV)
When we pray, “Give us today our daily bread,” we pray in trust that God will provide what we need and keep us humble and dependent on his provision.
Please pray that students would learn to acknowledge God as their provider, trust him for their daily needs, and learn to be content with what God provides.
Written by Corey Porter.
Haven’t read the earlier parts of this series? You can catch up:
- The Lord’s Prayer: Learning to worship God in my prayers.
- Our Father in heaven
- Hallowed be your name
- Your kingdom come
- Your will be done
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