Matthew 6:11 says: “Give us today our daily bread.”
There is a brief glance at the Lord’s Prayer that reveals God’s word in us that is categorized in the first half of the Lord’s Prayer and another word that is categorized in the second half of the prayer.
The word for the first half is ‘your’—your name, your kingdom, and your will. The word for the second half of the Lord’s Prayer is ‘us,’ e.g., give us, forgive us, and lead us.
By arranging these words in the first and second half of the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus is teaching us that we are to begin with God’s concerns. We are to pray to God about the things He is most concerned about. When we have done that, we are to pray for our own concerns, meaning ‘our daily bread.’ Our forgiveness and our petition is in the moment that we experience temptations. We start in a heavenly place, and then come down to an earthly place, which is the pattern of all divine revelation.
In the second half of the Lord’s Prayer, God is directing us daily into His everlasting presence where we are to live just for Him. If the first half of the Lord’s Prayer is to ask God for His name, kingdom, and will, then the second half is to unveil daily living that enables us to face life with the aid and assistance of the Holy Spirit.
When we ask God for daily bread, it provides for provision that takes care of your present—and pardons our past, and protects our future. Not only these three things, but it also takes care of every part of you personally. Provision takes care of your body. Pardon takes care of your soul. Protection takes care of your spirit.
Everything that we need has already been provided for us in the Lord’s Prayer. That’s why it is such a tragic mistake for us to overlook the Lord’s Prayer or to think that it is just a Sunday morning ritual. It is more than just a pattern or model for prayer. If you understand it in its depth, everything that you can legitimately pray about is contained in either the first half or the second half of this great prayer.
When we think of the living bread in scripture, it is more than just literal bread. It’s also a symbol for all the material needs of one’s life. Bread in the Lords Prayer stands not just for the kind of bread you slice and eat, but stands for the physical and material needs of the Christian Life. During this season of ‘giving thanks,’ everything that will nourish our bodies and meet their needs should be given back to God in the form of honor, discipline, goods, faithfulness, and praise.
Do not forget that your daily bread is the substance that God wants you to live by. He nourishes us physically so that we can live for Him spiritually. Con-sider each day the importance of your living bread.
(Dr. Monterey D. Lee, Sr. is the pastor of Celebration Christian Center, Inc.)