This week, we are continuing to go through the petitions of the Lord’s Prayer.
Q. 125. Which is the fourth petition?
A: “Give us this day our daily bread”; that is, be pleased to provide us with all things necessary for the body, that we may thereby acknowledge thee to be the only fountain of all good, and that neither our care nor industry, nor even thy gifts, can profit us without thy blessing; and therefore that we may withdraw our trust from all creatures, and place it alone in thee.
In praying for daily bread, we are asking God not only to feed us, but to provide for our bodily needs, whatever those needs may be. It is not “unspiritual” to pray for physical needs. God made us physical beings, and he knows we have certain needs. During this Advent season, let us remembering that in becoming a man, God the Son became fully acquainted with the realm of physical needs. He can sympathize with us, knowing what it’s like to be thirsty, hungry, tired, etc…
We pray for daily bread because it helps us to remember that God is the “only fountain of all good.” We may work hard to provide for ourselves, but God is the ultimate provider. No matter how hard we work, no matter how much we strive, we can never become self-sufficient; we will always be in need of God’s blessing.
This writer recalls meeting a disabled child at Camp Barnabas in Missouri who had a trache tube. The trache enabled him to breathe, compensating for his physical disability. Once, the mistake was made of saying that he “couldn’t breathe on his own.” When pondered, it becomes apparent what a silly statement this is. Who can breathe on his or her own? No one! We are all dependent on God for each breath, second by second. God provides most people with oxygen via their lungs, and for some people, via trache tubes. In every case, God is still the source of life, and we are all equally needy before him.
This petition also helps us have a “daily” perspective. We are not asking God to provide a life’s supply worth of food. We are merely asking for enough to get by today. This is in keeping with Christ’s command to take no thought of tomorrow, but to let tomorrow worry about itself.
“These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season. That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good.” Psalm 104:27-28
“The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.” Psalm 145:15-16
* On Friday, December 17, Dr. Roger Parrott, president of Belhaven University, will be at Lemuria Bookstore in Jackson signing copies of his new book, The Longview. To learn more about this event, visit Belhaven’s news and events web page.