Luke 11:3- Give us day by day our daily bread. NKJV
The Bible speaks a lot about bread. Bread is mentioned as a part of the regular diet of the children of Israel. God told them to prepare unleavened bread for their exodus from Egypt, which became part of the seder meal. He provided manna, a type of bread, in the wilderness as they wandered around for forty years. There were several types of bread for the tabernacle: the shewbread, the bread of the Presence, and other consecrated versions of bread. All of these references are regarding actual bread that can be eaten.
Bread also has spiritual connations or meanings. Jesus declared that He is the bread of life. When we take communion, we partake of some version of bread that represents His body. It’s symbolic of the Word of God, and Jesus calls healing the children’s bread. With so many references to bread in the Bible, it’s easy to see why Jesus would tell us to pray day by day for bread. But what exactly is Jesus saying?
Most commentaries believe that Jesus is encouraging us to pray for our daily sustenance of provision at this point. In the earlier part of this model of prayer, we have been told to spend time in worship with our heavenly Father, whose name is Holy. We are encouraged to spend time praying for the kingdom of God and for His will to be done. And now we get to pray about things regarding our personal well-being. Our provisions.
Agur, in the book of Proverbs, made this observation:
Remove falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches—feed me with the food allotted to me; lest I be full and deny You, and say, “Who is the Lord?” Or lest I be poor and steal, and profane the name of my God.Proverbs 30:8-9 NKJV
This statement aligns with what many of the commentaries expressed that Jesus was referring to with His statement. We don’t need a lot of provisions; we just need enough to get by so that we will continuously depend on the Lord. Though I have a problem with it, I can see this as a rationale for understanding this verse. However, I’m not quite sure that it is completely biblical because God is the One who declares Himself to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we can ask or think.
Some people don’t know how to handle money and material blessings. They lose their minds and begin to worship the blessings in place of God. This is what Agur was concerned about. As believers, when we understand the purpose of wealth (which some struggle with), we don’t have to live with a poverty mentality. Moses told us:
“And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.Deuteronomy 8:18 NKJV
And in the New Testament, John wrote:
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.3 John 2 NKJV
Again, I don’t think Jesus was speaking of us barely making it. However, our dependency must be on Him. In Deuteronomy, Moses reminds us that if we have wealth, it is because the Lord allowed it and gave us the strength to acquire it. John tells us that if we can handle the prosperity because our soul is prospering (in the Lord), then by all means, he wishes that we would prosper. And he follows this verse by stating that he rejoiced because of the truth that the believers walked in.
Now what I do believe is that Jesus has authorized us to pray for our needs daily. Whatever those needs are. Let’s look at the manna:
Then the children of Israel did so and gathered, some more, some less. So when they measured it by omers, he who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack. Every man had gathered according to each one’s need.Exodus 16:17-18 NKJV
Those who had smaller families gathered what their families needed, and those with larger families gathered what they needed, and none suffered lack. My daily needs aren’t yours, and because I might need five hundred dollars daily and you might need two thousand dollars, it doesn’t faze God. We can both rely on Him to give us our daily supply of provision, and we should. He supplies all of our needs according to His riches! And He’s beyond wealthy!
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ JesusPhilippians 4:19 NKJV
And this truth with the truth in Proverbs doesn’t cancel each other out! They both align with praying for your daily bread. Some ministries need more to meet their weekly budget than other others do. But all ministries must rely on Jesus to supply their needs daily, and He can do that also!
I also believe that since most of this prayer is for spiritual needs, this daily bread is also spiritual. Jesus said it this way:
“It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”Matthew 4:4 NKJV
We all get it! Although we need food to sustain our natural lives, we need the word of God to live! And just like we want fresh bread when we eat our meals, we need fresh bread, or daily bread as we go through this life.
So what are some of the things that would apply to “every word that proceeds out the mouth of God? I ask you, what do you need? Because whatever you stand in need of, God has a word regarding your situation! If you need a job, you can pray about it and get a word from God. Whether that is a word from the logos (Bible) of the word, or whether He speaks to you through a human resource person or a want ad! God’s got a word! Do you need wisdom on how to raise your children? God has a word on how to do it. You may need to hear from Him daily about them, but it’s okay because He has a word. Maybe you need healing? Remember that Jesus called healing the children’s bread! It is there for you!
We never know what we will face from day to day. But God knows! We are not privy to what tomorrow brings, but He does. So Jesus tells us that as we are praying, we need to remember to ask God for our daily bread. Whatever that bread is like!
I attended Bible college many years ago as a teenager. Every morning before chapel, we would draw a Bible verse from a little container shaped like a loaf of bread. One day I pulled the following scripture:
And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;1 Thessalonians 4:11 KJV
I was so offended! To make matters worst, I pulled that same verse several days in a row. I kid you not! I absolutely accused my fellow classmates of playing a trick on me. It was embarrassing! Then one day I was stopped by a person in authority at the school. They asked me to come into their office because they wanted to talk with me. For some strange reason they started asking questions about people I personally knew that were in ministry. They were digging for information. Then the verse made perfect sense. I knew I was to be quiet and to mind my own business! After that, I began to see the value of a daily word from God. Fresh bread is always better than the stale! Wonderful Jesus!