The Lord’s Prayer Part 1

    Matthew 6:7-13

    7 “And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
    8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.
    9 “In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
    10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.
    11 Give us this day our daily bread.
    12 And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.
    13 And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer was spoken and taught by Jesus as part of His Sermon on the Mount which goes from chapters 5 through 7 in the Book of Matthew.

The prayer starts and ends with a request to God for His will, His glory, his power, and his kingdom. We’ll cover this request from Jesus in week 4.

Today we’ll focus on verse 11: “Give us this day our daily bread”

There are so many occasions in the Bible where many are fed by the Lord. Food is obviously something God values and I so look forward to the feasts in heaven! Can you imagine the food?!? Our pastor often says he’ll be getting his own chocolate fountain in heaven. I can imagine he’s right. (:-)

The phrase “daily bread” focuses on the fact that not only do we need to eat every day, but that we need God to provide for all our needs every day. A great example of this is God feeding the new Hebrew nation (millions of people) in the book of Exodus with fresh quail and manna bread every single day for forty years.

Check out the story in Ex. 16

    Vs 3-5 “And the children of Israel said to them, “Oh, that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not. “And it shall be on the sixth day that they shall prepare what they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.”

Then in Vs 10-12:

    “Now it came to pass, as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud. And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “I have heard the complaints of the children of Israel. Speak to them, saying, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. And you shall know that I am the LORD your God.’ ”

Then God feeds them in Vs 13-16:

    “So it was that quails came up at evening and covered the camp, and in the morning the dew lay all around the camp. And when the layer of dew lifted, there, on the surface of the wilderness, was a small round substance, as fine as frost on the ground.
    So when the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “This is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat. “This is the thing which the LORD has commanded: ‘Let every man gather it according to each one’s need, one omer for each person, according to the number of persons; let every man take for those who are in his tent.’ ”

    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.”

Notice God provided DAILY. They never had extra, they had just enough to make it through one day; yet they were never short of food either. He gave them their daily bread not because they asked nicely and with a heart full of love, nor did he provide because they petitioned the Lord out of desperation and fear. The whined and complained and moaned about how much better Egypt was! No, He provided to them out of love for them. He loved this young nation of people. How many times I have provided for my own children in spite of their moaning and not because of it. Even though they were whining, they still needed to eat. God showed up and provided.

Now let’s look at the New Testament. We’ve discussed before Jesus feeding the crowd of 5,000 (that’s a count of men only, while adding women and children would easily push that number to 15-20,000).

    John 6:4-11

    Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near. Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.

    Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.” One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?”

    Then Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted.

In this situation, Jesus knew the people were hungry, He knew they needed to eat, He knew the disciples did not have food for everyone, and He knew ahead of time what He would do. All of this reminds of the story back in Exodus. In this case in the book of John, Jesus fed the people out of simple love and care for them. They hadn’t even asked to be fed. How often God provides for our DAILY needs when we didn’t even ask!

Did you eat breakfast this morning? God provided it.
Did you dress yourself in your own clothes today? God provided your clothes.
How did you get to church today? God provided transportation.
Where did you sleep last night? God provided shelter.

Take a look also at verse 11 which say in part: “when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples”. Jesus didn’t even distribute the food until He had thanked His Father for the food. Meaning, they didn’t even dish up their plates until thanking God! How often we eat when we’re hungry without giving any consideration as to who provided the food. Every time Jesus eats in the Bible, He thanks God first. No matter which meal or time of day, He’s saying thanks.

Psalm 136 is an incredible song of God’s provision and love and is worth reading in it’s entirety.

    Psa 136:23-26

    He remembered us in our low estate
    His love endures forever.
    and freed us from our enemies.
    His love endures forever.
    He gives food to every creature.
    His love endures forever.
    Give thanks to the God of heaven.
    His love endures forever.

Our “daily bread” in the Lord’s Prayer goes way beyond just the food that we eat. It speaks of God providing for our everyday needs, no matter what they are.

If we have accepted God’s free gift of salvation, mercy and grace, then He provides for us for all eternity! Forever and ever! I can’t wait to eat with Him at feast upon feast.

Ephesians 2:4-10 speaks not only of the free gift of salvation that God provides to those who want it, but also that God knew our need and prepared beforehand:

    But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Thanks Lord, for providing for me. Let me always be thankful and know that my needs are daily met by you, and you alone.
Amen.

A few related resources:

Hallelujah! by Desiring to Walk Humbly with My God

Why Give Thanks? By Ray Stedman

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand by Tony Kummer

Jesus Feeds the 5,000 and then Walks on Water!

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