The Lord teaches us to ask for the Father’s provision of our daily bread. What does this mean in our modern culture where we are taught to take care of ourselves? This sermon by Cedrick Baker seeks to address this question.
There many ways you can focus your prayer i.e., worship, thanksgiving, confession, consecration. Jesus teaches us that we should focus at least a part of our prayer time in petitioning or asking God to meet our needs, referring to the phrase ”daily bread.” In the historical context of this passage, the people to whom Jesus was speaking would have been poor, with no safety net. Less than 10% of the population had the economic standing to have the luxury of surplus.
In addition, ancient laborers were paid daily, and they usually earned just enough to cover their basic survival and no more. The word for “daily” has a double meaning. It refers to daily sustenance and to the sustenance that “comes after.” It has a meaning for what God is providing now and for the eschatological coming of God’s completed Kingdom.
This helps us to reorient our perspectives on God’s provision, especially in the modern context where we are challenged to depend on God because we often have even more than we need.
Martin Luther wrote, “For when you mention and pray for daily bread, you pray for everything that is necessary in order to have and enjoy daily bread and, on the other hand, against everything which interferes with it. Therefore you must open wide and extend your thoughts not only to the oven or the flour-bin but to the distant field and the entire land, which bears and brings to us daily bread and every sort of sustenance. For if God did not cause it to grow, and bless and preserve it in the field, we could never take bread from the oven or have any to set upon the table.”
We must remember that this life is a gift, as stated in James 1:17. We didn’t work for the gift. Our responsibility is to trust God for the fullness of life today. Our health, job, connections, community support, ability to navigate certain systems, education, family, etc., all of this is a gift. Remembering this can help us stay in a humble posture of prayer.
Our loving Father is teaching us how to communicate. His goal is to commune with us. He genuinely wants to fellowship, spend time, and connect with us. He desires to hear about and meet our needs, while allowing us to be part of the solution with our “say-so.” The challenge is that we must push against the tendency of self-reliance. Our job is to talk to our heavenly Father about our needs. Based on the technology and progress of modern society, it can be challenging to trust God for our daily needs. Jesus shows us it is important to trust and to remember that meeting our needs is God’s gift!
Hide Extended Summary