“Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors.” [Matthew ch6 v11-12]
Right folks, here we continue through the Lords Prayer, I hope it has made everyone think more deeply so far, about what we are actually saying when we do pray together. I have certainly been glad of taking this closer view and seeing how much each word means. The line in verse 11 “Give us this day our daily bread” is filled with meaning and we may start with the thought that Bread is such a basic foodstuff. It is something that has been eaten for hundreds if not thousands of years and in countries all around the world, maybe in different forms but bread is a basic for so many people.
Bread is a necessity of life, if you do not believe me just think of the days when we all thought that there would be a shortage at the beginning of the Lockdown. How many trolleys did you see piled high with bread and remember only being allowed to buy enough for the days ahead? Asking for bread means that we are asking for the necessity, not the fancy stuff, not sweet stuff, not chocolate but something which is wholesome.
We ask for OUR bread, something for us, not to be taken from someone else to give to us but to give us our portion for the day. We ask for our DAILY bread where we do not think so much for tomorrow but are contented to have enough for the day. Our prayer reminds us to take each day as it comes and that we are provided for as the need arises. Think of the Mannah from heaven which fed the people of Israel in the desert but only enough for a day at a time. [ Exodus ch16 v4-5]. In that way they learned to trust God and to put all their faith in Him.
In the same way we pray in trust and faith that God will provide, perhaps not in the way we hope for, not in the way we think that He will act. We sometimes have to accept help when it is given and to give thanks for the basic things of our lives, especially the things that we take for granted such as bread.
We ask that our bread may be GIVEN not bargained for, or “bought” with good deeds or a fine opinion of ourselves. It is given by God because He is gracious, good and generous. OK, I know that we work to earn all that we have but we remember that everything we have is a gift from God. All our talents and abilities which we use in daily life to get what we need, all our possessions, all that we are, are gifts from God and it is good for us to remember that and to give thanks on a daily basis.
We ask that the bread is given to US which emphasises that this prayer is said by so many at the same time, binding us together as a body of worshippers. It is also a prayer not for ourselves but for the poor and needy in our community. A prayer for others is something that Jesus was always teaching His Followers and it has been brought down to us today. Perhaps though we could remember that Jesus said that He was the Bread of Life and though we ask that we may be filled physically we also have the deeper meaning of being filled spiritually.
LET US PRAY
ALMIGHTY AND ETERNAL GOD,
We thank You for our daily lives and the basics of life which we take for granted.
We thank You for bread which sustains us and for Jesus the Bread of Life
Who fills us with such good things.
It is good, Lord God, for us to live with thankful hearts.
But now we voice our thanks, together as Your praising people.
Thank You, God, for giving us what we need to live in this world – food, shelter, conversation, family, friendship, warmth, purpose.
Thank You for giving us a gospel worth sharing with others.
Thank You for the sciences with which we explore the universe, and for the arts which help us to appreciate its wonder.
Thank you, God, for the challenging times, when we have had to struggle through alone, when we have had to keep listening for Your voice a long time, when we have had to come to terms with who we really are.
Thank You for all who have helped us along life’s journey, not least those lost to our earthly sight, who share the splendour and joy of heaven.
Thank You God, for the gift of Jesus, the gift of the Spirit, the gift of faith.
We ask in Jesus Name,
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