Summary: God is calling us to live in the present with our eyes fixed on Him.
Living The Lord’s Prayer, Part-4, Mathew 6:6-13
“Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread”
There is a story of a man who tried to weigh a prayer. He owned a little grocery store. It was the week before Christmas, shortly after World War I. A tired-looking woman came into the store and asked for enough food to make a Christmas dinner for the children. The grocer asked her how much she could spend. “My husband did not come back; he was killed in the War. And I have nothing to offer but a little prayer,” she answered.
The storekeeper was not very sentimental nor religious, so he said, half mockingly, “Write it on paper, and I will weigh it.” To his surprise, the woman took a piece of paper from her pocket and handed it to the man, saying, “I wrote it during the night while watching over my sick baby.”
The grocer took the piece of paper before he could recover from his surprise and, because other customers were watching and had heard his remarks, he placed the unread prayer on the weight side of the old-fashioned scales. Then he began to pile food on the other side; but to his amazement, the scale would not go down. He became angry and flustered and finally said, “Well, that’s all the scale will hold. Here’s a bag; you will have to put it in yourself, I am busy.”
With trembling hands the woman filled the bag, and through moist eyes expressed her gratitude and departed. After that the store was empty of customers, the grocer examined the scales. Yes, they were broken and they had become broken just in time for God to answer the prayer of the woman. But as the years passed, the grocer often wondered about the incident.
Why did the woman come at just the right time? Why had she already written the prayer in such a way as to confuse the grocer so that he did not examine the scales? The grocer is an old man now, but the weight of the paper still lingers with him. He never saw the woman again, nor had he seen her before that day. Yet he remembers her more than any of his customers. And he treasures the slip of paper upon which the woman’s prayer had been written—simple words, but from a heart of faith, “Please, Lord, give us this day our daily bread.”
From whence does our sustenance come? From where does our help come? “I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalms 121:1-2 NIV)
The Life Application Study Bible comments on this passage say it very well, very succinct. “When we pray ‘Give us today the food we need,"’ we are acknowledging that God is our sustainer and provider. It is a misconception to think that we provide for our needs ourselves. We must trust God daily to provide what he knows we need.”
This morning we will be talking about the Lord’s provision. Few biblical subjects are of more immediate value, practical relevance, than that of the nature and manner of the Lord’s provision for this life.
In keeping with the text, our focus this morning will be squarely upon the Lord’s provision not for eternal life, not for spiritual empowerment, but on the practical daily matters of this life; “Give us today, our daily bread.”
Just two verses prior to our focus today, “Give us today, our daily bread” Jesus says, “Do not be like them, [the pagans who think that they will be heard for their many words] for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:8 NIV) If God knows our need, why pray for His provision?
If God knows our needs and He is concerned with them then what is the purpose of praying that God would give us this day our daily bread? There are two key elements in this text that reverberate with other teachings of Jesus:
(1) Acknowledgement of God’s provision. The first three areas of focus for the Lord’s Prayer are acknowledgement not to be self-focused but God-honoring in our lives. Our Father who art in heaven, Holy is your name; your Kingdom come; your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
The first half of the Lord’s Prayer is a declaration of God’s holiness, our need to be Kingdom-minded, and likewise the importance of His will, not ours being at the center of our aims for this world and our lives individually.
While the next three areas of the Lord’s Prayer focus more specifically on our needs, the focus is still strictly upon God. Praying for our daily bread is not just asking for our sustenance. It is acknowledgment of the source of it.