We continue our study of the Model Prayer with a look at the request for daily bread.
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (Mat 6:9-13)
Our Daily Bread
In the Bible, bread stands for life’s basic needs – what it takes to survive. (As we’ll see later in our study, God is willing to do much more than give you the bare minimum it takes to survive.) When you ask God for bread, you’re asking Him to meet the needs in your life and the lives of others. The need may be physical, or spiritual.
But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Mat 4:4)
Notice that we pray for our daily bread. The Model Prayer encourages us to pray for the needs of others, too. We may not have the resouces to help them, but God does. They may be far away, but God can still get to them.
God wants us to ask Him for daily bread – to meet today’s needs. It dawned on me one day that much of the lack, and the debt, in my life might be a direct result of failing to ask God to meet my needs each day.
God wants us to ask Him for what we need when we need it. He wants us to be specific in our prayers. Jesus told a story to teach us how to pray. In that story, a man goes to his friend’s home to ask for bread. Notice how the man asks:
And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? (Luk 11:5-6)
The needy man in Christ’s parable didn’t ask, “Friend, do you have anything to eat?” No, he asked for precisely what he needed. You might say, “God knows better than I do what I need,” and that’s true, but God often puts the responsibility for asking wisely into our hands. Here are a few examples:
In that night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee. (2Ch 1:7)
And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. (Mar 10:51)
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (Phi 4:6)
We’ve already talked about the need to submit ourselves to God’s will. In effect, God is saying, “Ask me for what you want until I tell you what I want.” Paul did this when he asked God to deliver him from his thorn in the flesh (2Co 12:7-9)
One advantage of praying specifically is that we know when God says yes. We can testify about it, and thank Him for it. Some folks pray so vaguely that it’s hard for them to know if they have been heard or not. Joy is one result of praying specifically:
Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. (Joh 16:24)
What About You?
- Do you pray specifically for what you need each day?
- Do you pray specifically for the needs of others daily?