Teach Us To Pray Part 6
Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread – Matthew 6:5-8
Mosaic Rockford – Dave Spooner – Oct. 14th, 2018
- This morning we start the second half of the Lord’s prayer, where we turn our thoughts and attention to ourselves after first praying the name, the glory, the kingdom and the will of God.
- “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matt 6:11 ESV). This phrase, I would guess, is the most prayed for request. People all over the world and in every generation are acutely aware of their needs and know that without having them met they would not survive. Out of need and sometimes desperation, we cry out to God for help.
- Jesus included our needs when He was teaching His disciples to pray. At first glance we may think that this request is about making sure that we may have the food we need to survive. We are going to look at this verse much more deeply this morning so that we can have a better understanding as to what is included in this request so we can pray with more understanding and greater effectiveness.
- I am going to teach on this verse in the order that the words were written down in Greek.In the Greek language, sentences were written with the most important words and phrases written first for emphasis and then the other words of the sentence written after. So, in the Greek this sentence is put together like this “bread our daily give us this day” (sounds like something Yoda would say). Those translating the Greek into English wrote it “Give us this day our daily bread” which makes sense because this is how we would say it in English. However in writing it this way, the sentence loses the emphasis and perhaps some of the meaning that was intended by the author. In English, the emphasis is on “give us” which highlights what is needed rather than in Greek, the emphasis is on “bread” – what is given and who is giving it. Therefore, rightly placing God first and higher even in our asking vs. putting us first and ourselves higher than God – which is our human tendency.
- When we pray “give us this day our daily bread,” what are we asking for? What “bread” is this?
- We are asking for what we need to live. This request certainly encompasses food, but it is not limited to it. Everyone knows from infancy that we need to eat to survive. Every creature on the planet has a need for the regular intake of food to live. This is a requirement of our physical bodies, and it is right for us to ask God for what we need to survive. This request is very practical and foundational to our existence – telling us that God is aware and interested in providing for our practical needs. Jesus taught us to ask God for it, and it is right for us to pray for this.
- Now there is another dimension for this request for bread. When Jesus had completed His 40 day fast, scripture says that “He was hungry” (which is an understatement). The devil, looking to capitalize on this need for food, tempted Jesus to use His supernatural power and authority to meet His own needs. Jesus responded to him by quoting this scripture: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matt 4:6 ESV). In order to truly and eternally live, we need more than just physical food, but also “every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Everyone on the planet is alive but not everyone is living.
- Jesus quoted Moses from Deut. 8:3 where Moses was instructing the people of God that God was humbling them by allowing them to be hungry. He did this so they would know their true nature as dependent and limited creatures, and that we would know that everything is here because of the word of God. It is not just food that keeps us alive but God who does so. Our need of God is greater than our need of food if we are to live.
- Jesus later taught this in John 6:31-35 saying, “Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ 32 Jesus then said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’ 34 They said to him, ‘Sir, give us this bread always.’ 35 Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.’” (ESV)
- Jesus explained that God His Father gave the people physical bread that kept them physically alive. The mana pointed to what they really needed to live which was the word of God, which is Jesus who is both the word of God and the bread of heaven.
- This is why Jesus went to explain, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.” (John 6:47-51 ESV)
- When we ask for “bread” we are asking for our physical need of hunger to be satisfied.Also as believers we are asking for our spiritual need of hunger to be satisfied so that we can live. This is why Jesus said “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matt. 5:6 ESV). This hunger and thirst for righteousness can only be satisfied in Christ who is the bread and the drink of heaven (this is what communion points to).
- When we pray, “give us this day our daily bread,” we are asking for both our physical and spiritual needs to be satisfied.
- “Our daily” points to God as the provider of what we need and that we are trusting Him and His resources. We trust that there is enough for us for every day and that He will not run out – there is not a scarcity of provision with God – and that God will give it to us when we need it.
- “Our daily” is personal – some is assigned and given to you, or you personally, like your name on your lunch bag (no one can take yours- it is prepared for you, given to you and must be consumed by you so that you can both stay alive and live).
- This is how is was with the mana from heaven. The Hebrews in the desert were given enough for one day at a time and it came one day at a time. There was enough that everyone had what they needed and not one of those who were hungry would go away empty handed. They could not store some for tomorrow but needed to trust God for the future. There was not a reliance upon their own resources but a trust in God that He would provide their needs that day and every day. It is an active trust of faith to know that God will provide for us each day.
- When we pray, “Give us,” we are asking God to provide for our needs. We are looking to Him to give us these things. God will do so – He makes them available to us and provides them for us. However, He also gives us the responsibility to gather what we need from Him. God did not send the mana down in prepackaged jars nor did He spoon-feed them, but He did provide for them and told them they had to go gather it up.
- We also have responsibility when we pray “give us this day our daily bread” to go out and gather what God has provided for us because we have asked Him to provide it. (Ill. from when we needed physical provision – Ill also for us spiritually). We are to trust that God will provide for us and work in doing our part to bring in the provision. These things are provided, but you have to gather them, and you have to consume them.
- We are first praying for ourselves, but we are also praying for others. “Give us” it is both personal and corporate in nature. We are praying for “our” physical need and “our” spiritual needs plural. We are praying that people will also “wake up” to their spiritual need and hunger for the righteousness that only can be met in Christ.
- When we ask we are asking for “this day.” We are to take each day at a time. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34 NIV) We are asking what we need for this day. We are asking what we need to live this day. We are praying for the needs and “trouble” of this one day – today. This is where we pray for our physical and spiritual needs of this day. This is where we pray for strength, provision, wisdom and whatever we think we need for this day.
- Notice these things come to us on a daily basis. It is not “give us this day our weekly loaf.” It does not work that way. We need to depend upon God freshly each morning. We are to look to Him on a daily basis. We are to feed ourselves each day both physically and spiritually. It is not enough to just eat every once in a while, or even once a week. We would not be strong, neither would we last that long. In order for us to grow we must have nourishment every day. It is true of us physically and it is true of us spiritually. All of it is provided, if you want to be alive and truly live then give yourself over to gathering, providing and feeding yourself. No one can do it for you, you have to give yourself over to it.
- When we pray “give us this day our daily bread” – we are praying a powerful and profound prayer. In humility we are recognizing our needs and looking to God to provide for our needs and to give us His bread that will satisfy both our physical and spiritual hunger. We are praying for what is needed and God will supply – because there is no lack of resource with Him. He will give to us what we need in this day and will do so every day and also in eternity.
- When we pray “give us this day our daily bread,” we are partnering with God and His provision for us. Trust that He will take care of your needs. Jesus taught us to ask Him for these things. Take comfort in His promise of provision and give yourself to believe and gather in the strength of what your father provides for you and for those that you pray for.
- Prayer people