Summary: This prayer is an expression of dependence upon God and confidence in His character. Jesus teaching concerning prayer is discussed.
Everything you and I need for a happy, fulfilling life is found in the Lord’s Prayer. We need relationship with God which is inherent in the beginning of the prayer, “Our Father”. We need God’s will to be done in our lives. And we are taught to pray, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We talked about some of those requests last week. The opening of the Lord’s prayer gets our orientation toward God which allows our faith to operate. This morning we will talk about the other three requests Jesus taught us to pray in the Lord’s prayer:
(1) “Give us today our daily bread.”
(2) “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
(3) “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
The doxology found in the King James Version was not part of the original text. It is a beautiful statement. It is consistent with the prayer as a whole. But it is not inspired Scripture. That’s why you won’t find it in some of the more recent versions.
What are we asking when we pray
I. “Give us today our daily bread”?
We are asking God to provide for our material needs. We are asking our heavenly Father to take care of us just as a child looks to his natural father for provision.
When Israel left Egypt and was in the wilderness God supplied them manna on a daily basis. That story helps us grasp the force of this request. The Israelites had to gather the manna. But God was the one who provided it. All they had to do was trust Him and obediently gather the supply each day. That bread from heaven met all their nutritional needs. God took care of everything they needed.
We can come to God with confidence in His faithfulness as we submit our requests to Him. Paul wrote in Phil 4:19 “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” We come to God asking Him to take care of us. We come to Him casting our care on Him, knowing that He cares for us. There is a certain attitude of assurance that should fill our hearts when we say those words, “Give us this day our daily bread.” We should ask in faith knowing our Father’s attitude toward us—knowing that it is His good pleasure to give us the kingdom.
David wrote in Ps 37:25, “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.” Do you have a physical, natural need this morning? Is your body in need of healing? Is your bank account in need of restoration? “Ask and you shall receive.” God has many ways of giving us what we need. Sometimes He supplies the money. Sometimes He preserves the resources the way He did when He kept the Israelites’ shoes from wearing out. He can put a coin in a fish’s mouth for you. He can even rain manna from heaven if He chooses to do it that way. He is able and willing to take care of your need. Ps 84:11, “For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly” (NKJV).
I’m so glad that God doesn’t consider Himself too spiritual to care about our natural needs. Have you ever met a Christian who thought he was too spiritual to stoop down and help with the natural needs of the church? Have you ever met a Christian who would not take out the trash or drive an elderly person to the doctor or watch somebody’s kids because he or she felt others (less spiritual) should do those kinds of things? That person is a Humpty Dumpty waiting to fall. I’ve seen some Humpty Dumpties fall over the years. It’s a terrible thing to watch because those people seem to be so spiritual right before the fall happens. But when anybody gets too spiritual to stoop down and wash other people’s stinking feet, that person is walking on thin ice. Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is to get down off our spiritual high horse and help somebody at a very natural level. It protects us from spiritual pride. It keeps everything in proper perspective.
God created people spirit, soul, and body. And He is concerned with their needs at each of those levels. Anybody in step with Him we will also be concerned with people’s needs in each of those areas. Listen to James’ statement in James 1:27, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” The latter part of that statement relates to our desire to not be lead into temptation. But the first part corresponds with this matter of physical need. “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this...” Then he talks about helping others at a very natural level, “...to look after orphans and widows in their distress...” We’re talking about being in alignment with the heart of God—which is significant to the effectiveness of our prayer life. 1 John 3:17-18 “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”