Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread!
(The Lord's Prayer - Part 3)

The Lord's prayer is often used as a model for how we Christians should structure our own prayers; Praise - Petition - Praise. This is good and we can learn a lot from how Jesus says prayer should be offered in that time before He died for our sins.

Looking at the section with petitions though, we see that there are four main petitions made to God in the Lord's model prayer and while using the structure we should make sure that the things that we pray for are relevant for us today. It may be interesting to consider whether the things that Jesus prayed for specifically, which were vital for people to pray for at that time before His death and resurection, apply to us today in quite the way we might at first think.

The first petition is for God to 'give us our daily bread' (Mat 6:11).

Mat 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.

This on the surface appears to be asking for physical food but whilst this may be so, when one thinks on it further we see that it's probably at least as much about being given spiritual nourishment as it is about material.

Certainly the things that Jesus says just a few verses further on regarding physical provisions suggests that a spiritual meaning was probably his main thrust. Let's take a look at Mat 6:25-26 and also verse 31.

Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? . . . Therefore do not worry, saying, "What shall we eat?" or "What shall we drink?" or, "What shall we wear?"

This at least suggests that he probably had spiritual things uppermost in his mind since physical things are a given.

In the context of Jesus' life then, what bread was he most likely referring to? In John 6:35 Jesus says this....

"...,'I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.'"

Also in Mat 26:26 Jesus says this....

Mat 26:26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is my body."

These scriptures tell us that Jesus associated himself as the food we needed. So the bread that we need daily is, from these scriptures, 'to come to Jesus and to believe in him' and 'to represent eating His body with bread in the communion service'. We need to live by faith in Jesus and by the faith of 'Jesus in us' in other words.

Now some might surmise that since the Lord's prayer tells us that we are to ask for God to give us this spiritual food daily and the Lord said that we were to take communion "as often as we do it in memory of Him", that we could take communion daily if needed to draw close to the Lord, but each of us has to decide that for himself.

The odd thing though about this petition is that it seems to be pointing in the wrong direction where Christians are concerned. Before Jesus's death and resurection, one's relationship with God was according to one's performance, and we had to ask God to give us those things that we needed which we did not deserve.

But, under grace we have been given all things through Jesus and we should rather be thanking God for what He has already done and then utilise His great and abundant gifts for the kingdom! Just to give a few examples to illustrate what I mean by this....

Because we believed on Jesus Christ we have been given eternal redemption.

Heb 9:12 Not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered once for all into the Holies, having obtained eternal redemption.

We don't have to ask for it daily. We've received redemption for eternity.

Because we believed on Jesus and were baptised we received a new spirit.

Eze 36:26 And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. And I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.

Eze 36:27 And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My judgments and do them.

We don't have to ask for it daily. We've already received it and are thankful.

Because we believed on Jesus and received a new spirit, we (ie. our spirit) has been sealed by the Holy Spirit.

Eph 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you are sealed until the day of redemption.

We don't have to keep asking for this sealing. We've received it already, once for all time.

Because we believed on Jesus the Holy Spirit (the comforter) has come to us.

Joh 14:16-17 And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, so that He may be with you forever, the Spirit of Truth,

We don't have to ask for Him to be in us daily. We've received the Holy Spirit and are blessed. Jesus said He would never leave us or forsake us, and here that Holy Spirit would be with us forever!

We have received the Holy Spirit. So, over and above the normal day to day level of gifting that we all have in all these areas that the Holy Spirit needs to operate in our lives, some have a special gifting as leaders in specific Areas for their ministry....

1Co 12:8-11 For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as He wills.

Because we have received the Holy Spirit we have Him as a guide and help throughout every day (24/7).
We don't have to ask for this help daily. We have to listen for it and receive it.

Because we have received the Holy Spirit we have in us the fruit of the spirit (24/7); love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; (Gal 5:22-23).
We don't have to ask for these daily. We've already received them.

Utilisation is the real problem; what God calls "Walking after the Spirit". We've already got them!

Because we have received the Holy Spirit we have in us the faith of Jesus (Rev 14:12). We have the same faith as Peter had (2 Pet 1:1)
We don't have to ask for it daily. We've received it and are thankful that this allows us to live by the faith of Jesus. We have it but it's up to us to operate in that faith and remove doubt and un-belief.

Because we have a new spirit we know all things (in the spirit).

1Jn 2:20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.

It's for us to live by the spirit and access this knowledge for our good and the good of others.

Because of Jesus' death for our sins, a perfect sacrifice, we have no sin consciousness (or should have!) Heb 10:2.
We don't have to ask for it daily. It's ours for ALL time.

The scriptures tell us that 'by His stripes we "were" healed (past tense)'. Our total well-being is in Christ's atonement suffering.

1Pe 2:24 ... who Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, in order that having died to sins, we might live unto righteousness -- by whose stripes you were healed.

Mat 8:17 This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: "He took our illnesses and bore our diseases."

Healing is not an exception in the gifts of God. We've already got it. God has already given; we have to receive (utilise).

Jesus has given his followers who believe on him and don't doubt, authority in the spiritual realm.

Mar 16:17-18 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

It's up to us to utilise the power and authority that Jesus has given us. If we doubt and don't receive it's not for us to try to blame God for our lack, when he gave. It's on the shelf we have to pick it up!

Because of Jesus' death for our sins, we have been delivered from Satan.

Col 1:13-14 For He has delivered us (past tense) from the power of darkness and has translated us (past tense) into the kingdom of His dear Son; in whom we have redemption through His blood, the remission of sins.

We don't have to ask for it daily. It's for ALL time. See also Deliver Us From Evil.

All these things we have already. God isn't taking them away at night and giving them back in the morning when we ask for them! Or witholding them until we make ourselves holy!

You would not blame the TV transmitter for you not receiving it's broadcast of ABC or BBC or ITV programmes or whatever, if your receiver was not tuned in properly. In the same way we should not blame God when he has given freely before we even knew what to ask for and were sinners anyway at the time, because we have not tuned in to receive all his gifts and blessings.

So what spiritual food is there that we need but don't already have through Jesus Christ? At one time before Jesus died for us these things above and more were not available by right of relationship, but now as we have accepted Jesus' sacrifice and believed on Him, we are sons and daughters of God and he has given us all things.

This request/petition to God in Mat 6:11 to give us our daily bread therefore does seem to belong to a previous era. It's being used, it seems to me, to provide a contrast in our minds of what was the best hope in another time and dispensation but which bears little comparison with the blessings that we enjoy now as children of God. Jesus wanted us to compare these (pre-cross) requests with the abundance of the blessings that (post-cross) we have received from God, not because we asked, but because He loved us and died for us.

Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us (past tense) with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ;

I would suggest that we perhaps shouldn't be asking Him daily for things that he has already given to us, especially bearing in mind that He has given us every spiritual blessing. There is no more! Is he supposed to take them back and then give them to us again?

If as children we came down to breakfast every morning and at the open entrance to the dining room with a table groaning with the weight of food on it, we threw ourselves at the feet of our Father and begged him not to let us starve, how would that have made him feel? And if we did this EVERY morning?

Perhaps instead we should be thanking him for all that he HAS given us and that we now live by the faith OF Jesus and under his grace and in love follow a basic prayer sequence that leads to worship. This could be - "Thankfulness - Praise - Worship - Praise - Thankfulness".

I'm sure that you can see this sequence is based on the principle that we -

a. Enter His gates with thanksgiving, reflecting that God is Good.

b. Enter His courts with praise, reflecting that God is Great.

c. Enter His present with worship, reflecting that God is Holy.

Of course we can add petitions for new problems and challenges that come upon us or others, after thanking God for all he has done in our walk after the spirit, giving a new prayer outline at those times, if you like, of
"Thankfulness - New petitions - Praise - Worship - Praise - Thankfulness".

Phm 1:4-6 I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers, Hearing of your love and faith, which you have toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints; That the communication of your faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is (already) in you in Christ Jesus.

Of course we worship a GOOD God who will make allowances for what we don't know (in the physical arena), until we learn better. But once we learn better we should bless him and thank him for his goodness towards us.

So, let's thank God for His blessings and learn to utilise them to His glory.

God has given us every good thing. It's all available now to every Christian. {See It's in the Spirit.}

That's the blessing of the GOOD God that we worship!


How should We Pray? Click Here.
The Lords Prayer.   Pt 1.  Pt 2. Pt 3.
 Pt 4.  Pt 5.  Pt 6.
Grace and Law in Ancient Israel. Click Here.

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