Give us today our daily bread – a plea or an entitlement?

Posted on May 17, 2014 · Posted in Worldview

Why do you think you will eat your next meal? Serious question!

In our culture most of us plan on eating each day.  So the words of the Lord’s Prayer about giving us our daily bread seem like a ritual that has little practical value. It is nice to say, but if I forget, I am still going to eat. The truth is that is a presumptuous statement. 

Someone might say, “well that’s funny, because I didn’t ask God for food, but I ate what I wanted anyway.”  You see, that is the issue. We want to eat, so therefore, we are entitled to eat. This thought assumes that you and I are in control of the essential details of life. This, too, is a presumptuous statement, dangerously presumptuous.

Christ taught his disciples how to pray. And in the case of the Lord’s prayer, he taught them word for word, exactly what they should pray. And by implication he also taught them how often to pray this prayer. Why do I say that?

Jesus said, “Give us today our daily bread.”

Jesus is teaching us to ask our Father to give us the food we need each day. The implication is that it is God who provides our food on a daily basis. We get confused because we think getting the food we need is as matter of going to the pantry or fridge.  The reality is that we forget or don’t acknowledge just how dependent we are on God’s care.

Because God is patient and merciful, he doesn’t treat us as we deserve to be treated. People may either forget or refuse to ask God for food. But he often will still provide it anyway simply because of who he is. What we must not forget is that it is God who gives us our food even if we worked hard for it.

This only underscores just how important it is to take God at his word. Jesus says we should ask God each day for the food that we need to survive.  This helps us keep perspective. The rich fool in Luke 12 found out that all of his wealth would not buy him tomorrow. Paul told the learned scholars in Acts 17 that despite all of their knowledge, their next breath would only come if God provided it.

You and your children are not entitled to another meal on this planet. Perhaps it is time to start asking God to forgive our presumption and seek him every day for the means to live each day. Tomorrow is another day and will have enough troubles of its own, just like today. 

“Give us today our daily bread.”

Jay Younts
Jay Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger. He is the author of Everyday Talk and other materials on parenting. He has been teaching and speaking on parenting issues for 30 years. Jay and his wife, Ruth, live in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. He serves as a ruling elder at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He and Ruth have five adult children.