Our Father, who lives in the heavens,
May Your name be kept holy.
May Your Kingdom come,
May Your will be done,
On earth just like it’s done in Your presence.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive our sins
As we forgive those who sin against us.
Don’t bring us to the times of trial,
But deliver us from the evil one.
The first century had no ATMs.
The first thing I notice about “daily bread” is the sheer immediacy of the request.
In Jesus’ culture, daily bread meant just that: food for the day. In that culture, people more or less literally lived “hand-to-mouth.” If a worker didn’t get paid for a day’s work, they couldn’t use their checking or savings account to go the market… because there was no checking or savings account.
For that day, there would be no money, and more than likely no food.
“Daily bread” is a willingness (and an invitation from God Himself) to desperately go to God for our daily needs and say, “God I need this, and I need it now. Tomorrow’s bread will not do, Lord. I need this today.”
Now, sometimes prayers are answered. Sometimes they are not. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to speak to that. But regardless, God invites us into this immediate, urgent prayer.
Ironically, some of us don’t take God up on his offer to pray for “daily bread”, simply because we have become immune to the necessity of it. Another part of praying for daily bread is us waking up to the fact that we are much more fragile than we think we are.
We go through great pains to insulate ourselves from this fragility. We buy houses in certain neighborhoods; we buy safe (and large) cars; we buy expensive insurance and alarm systems; we vocally support national security. All of these things—in and of themselves—are good things, but we can never leave behind the thought that in an instant everything can change. As much security as we pursue, we are still frail creatures. A recognition of this frailty, of this relative poverty is necessary to respond to the invitation pray for “daily bread.”
- Do your prayers have “daily bread” urgency?
- What does it mean that God invites us to pray prayers of urgent desperation?