"Give us this day our daily Bread"
I've prayed the Lord's prayer many times throughout my life, but it's only been recently that I've given a lot of thought to what this particular verse really means. I remember years ago being taught as a newly born-again believer in Christ, that when Jesus lead his disciples to pray in this manner, it was meant to be a model for us all to follow. I don't think too many would argue that is exactly what it is! I've heard it said that this particular passage can be interpreted as Jesus wanting His followers to pray in this manner so that we are always going to God the Father for our life's sustenance in both physical and spiritual realms.
Would you agree? I hope so, but I believe there is also a deeper meaning for the true follower of
"Give us this day our daily bread".
You most likely have noticed that the word "bread" is mentioned several times throughout the bible. As you read such passages, your discernment probably tells you to read "between the lines" in order to find the spiritual meaning.
Here are a few examples taken from the Old and New Testaments that contain the word, "bread":
In all four gospels, we find Jesus feeding bread to the multitudes.
Jesus says in Matthew 4:4, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out the mouth of God."
In John 6:35 Jesus declared to the crowds, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty."
The apostle Paul gives a warning in Galatians 5:9 that believers should be aware of the leavened bread of the Pharisees.
Matthew 26:26 While they were eating, Jesus took the bread, and after He had given thanks, broke it and gave it to His disciples saying "Take and eat; this is my body which is given for you."
It is this last example that really caught my attention in my search for further understanding of "Give us this day our daily bread". If we look at Exodus 25, the Lord instructs Moses to have the Israelites make a sanctuary for Himself so He may dwell among his people. He gave very detailed instructions on how it should be constructed. In keeping with the "bread" theme, we read down to
Verse 23. Here the Lord gives specific instructions on how to make a special table which was to be set inside the Holy Place. But what was this special table's purpose? We find it in verse 30. The Lord said, "Put the bread of the presence on this table to be before Me at all times".
As I read this, the spiritual light bulb went on! As I connect the Old and New Testament examples, I have come to understand that "our daily bread" is Christ, Himself. Through faith, He has become our salvation for all eternity, but "give us this day our daily bread" suggests this bread is what we come before the Lord for each day in order to sustain us. So in the same way as the Bread of the Presence was to be before the Lord, so are we as sons and daughters to be in the presence of the Lord regularly that we may be spiritually fed and therefore filled. With this in mind, take a look back at John 6:35 and the verses surrounding it. I love the way the Living Bible translates these passages. Jesus is found speaking to the crowds that followed Him because they wanted to see more miracles, and in particular more bread miracles! Referring to Old Testament scriptures, they were saying to him that Moses gave them bread from heaven. In 6:32 Jesus said, "Moses didn't give it to them. My Father did. And now He offers you true Bread from heaven. The true Bread is a Person - the One sent by God from heaven, and He gives life to the world." Their response in verse 34 was, "Sir, give us that bread every day of our lives!"
"Give us this day our daily bread" doesn't mean the things we need to sustain us, although it does include all that we need. Jesus is everything we need to have true abundant life. In 1 Peter 2:9, believers in Christ are called a "royal priesthood". So as priests, let us become more increasingly aware of His presence that we may continually offer unto Him our praise and worship with all of our hearts. And what good news it is that instead of having to go to the tabernacle to worship in His presence (like we read in Exodus), we who have received Him by grace are now living tabernacles in which He dwells. His presence is within us! As we spend time ministering before Him, and meditating on His Word, we grow in the grace and knowledge of Him who loves us. As we do this, we find ourselves being beautifully transformed from glory to glory into His image. And in these dark days on planet Earth, isn't this what His children need to be as lights in a lost and dying world? Jesus is the Bread of Life and we are to feed from the table of His presence. This is our daily Bread.
The Apostle Paul said it so simply in the first part of Philippians 3:10,
"I WANT TO KNOW CHRIST..."
Imagine, Paul the Apostle, was already saved when he wrote this! So how can we get to know our Savior without spending time with Him and answering our call as priests unto Him? In this day and age there are so many different things tugging at our time and our attention. Even that which is well meaning and what we may label as "godly", the enemy of our souls can use to take the attention away from the One who saved us!
As we purpose in our hearts to know God, yes, we bring (with all confidence) our Holy Spirit led requests before Him, for He is our faithful High Priest. But our main goal and our "main course" in life as believers must be to continue, even after our salvation, to press on to know Him.
Dear Heavenly Father, may our hearts be stirred with the desire to know you. As believers, we've come to know you for salvation. But, may we continue to grow in the knowledge of who You are. May we be hungry for the Bread of Life, Your Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and be filled with His presence daily. Heavenly Father, give us this day our daily bread. And it's in Jesus precious name we pray. Amen.