Give us this day our daily bread. — Matthew 6: 11
We ask God to give us the things we need for both physical and spiritual life.
Bread for physical life
Jesus spoke of prayer in the Sermon on the Mount and taught His listeners the Lord’s Prayer. The petition: “Give us this day our daily bread,” applies first of all to our life on earth.
- We ask God to give us what we need in order to live; thereby we express our trust that our heavenly Father knows our needs (Matthew 6: 32) and He provides for us.
- We ask God for His help in fulfilling the task He has set for us, namely to cultivate and preserve the earth; thereby we express our awareness that everything comes from God and that we are grateful to Him for it.
Bread for spiritual life
This petition also applies to our souls, however. When we speak of our daily bread, we are also referring to the word of God as food for our immortal souls (Jeremiah 15: 16) and our spiritual life (Matthew 4: 4).
- The prayer for our salvation is to be just as intensive as the prayer for our physical needs.
- Preparation for the divine service is up to the congregation as a whole. All are called upon to pray for the ministers who are to preach.
Jesus’ food consisted of fulfilling the will of the Father (John 4: 34). We likewise take direction from this.
- Only those who do the will of God will attain eternal life (Matthew 7: 21). Let us ask God to give us the strength to subordinate ourselves to His will every day.
- Doing the will of God is also a kind of food that provides strength. Those who fulfil the will of God can be assured that they are on the right path and that God will help them.
- For those who love Jesus Christ, it is vital to have fellowship with Him.
The bread of life
The petition: “Give us this day our daily bread,” also refers to the bread of life: Holy Communion.
Jesus once said, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world” (John 6: 51). God will see to it that this bread is always available to us. It imparts to us the fellowship of life with Christ and we receive strength to overcome.
Let us partake worthily of Holy Communion so that we may live in Christ and grow into His nature.
* Thoughts from the Chief Apostle adapted for the divine service held on 10 April 2016 at Midrand Congregation.