“In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. 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.”
“Give us this day our daily bread.”
I wonder if Matthew made the connection between this request, tucked in the middle of the Lord’s Prayer, and the first of the wilderness temptations presented by Satan to Jesus.
Both this request and that first temptation have to do with our need for food. Food isn’t a luxury for any of the living creatures God has made. Food is a necessity. Without it we face a slow, lingering, agonizing death.
It’s true that we do experience some spiritual and mental advantages from temporarily depriving ourselves of food during a time of fasting but even this eventually serves to illustrate and emphasize our need for we cannot persist indefinitely in a fast without eventually defeating the purpose of that fast. Fasting is effective in part because in it we exercise our mind and our spirit to rule over our more primitive need for food.
But still we need food. When it comes to this need and our other physical needs of water for proper hydration, and clothing and shelter for proper maintenance of body temperature who do we rely on to secure those needs?
It’s a temptation to look to self to secure those needs. Most people, in fact, look no further that the strength and abilities of themselves and those they call family when it comes to securing their daily needs. But friends, our ability to provide security for the provision of our daily needs is just a vapor, an illusion, a mirage. Many have found out the hard way how easily all our hard work can be swept away. However, a trust in God that recognizes our deep dependence on his providence, thanks him for supplying us with the strength and ability to cooperate with him as he supplies and supports us, and trusts him even when that support seems to be in short supply is a foundation for life that can be relied on.
Jesus’ knowledge of this truth gave him the strength to rebuke the deceiver when presented with temptation to look to self, and our acquisition of this knowledge will grant us the same advantage as we face those temptations we encounter in our pursuit of providing for our daily needs.
Our Father in Heaven provides for us. Our Father in Heaven can be trusted to never leave or forsake us. Our Father in Heaven will give us our daily bread.