Matthew 6: 11-13
The second half of the Lord’s prayer moves us from YOUR name, will and kingdom to OUR bread, our need for forgiveness and rescue. After expressing genuine concern for God’s glory we now turn in prayer from God’s affairs to ours. In fact, this is the best order to raise our concerns and issues. Our personal needs are not unimportant to God but they do take second place to God’s glory.
There are two errors to avoid in bringing your needs to God:
- Allowing our personal needs to dominate the agenda of our prayers
- Not bothering God with our personal needs as too trivial and unspiritual
So what are your most basic needs for which you need to petition God?
John Stott suggests that is asking God in humble dependence to give us our daily bread. Bread represents everything necessary for the preservation of life - food, health, home, family, stability and peace. This prayer of course is uttered in a world where people are hungry and without basic necessities. A world where we are commanded to feed the hungry ourselves. As we pray, God may use human means to meet those prayers.
One thing worth noting is that Jesus actually says ‘daily’ bread, which could allude back to the manna which fell from heaven to Israel in the wilderness. It could only be collected for the day ahead. Our prayer for daily bread seems tied to our immediate future, not distant future.
Saying grace is a wonderful expression and acknowledgment of the daily nature of God’s provisions. So much more than just being a token gesture, it reminds us God provides our daily necessities.
What daily needs do you unashamedly bring to God?
Ideas taken from John Stott's commentary The Message of the Sermon on the Mount - Matthew 5-7