Meditations on the Lord’s Prayer – Part III

‘‘Give us this day our daily bread.” Matthew 6:11, NASB

“This day” is translated from σήμερον (sēmeron) which literally means “today”.

“Daily” is translated from ἐπιούσιον (epiousion) which can be translated “for the morrow, necessary, sufficient” (Strongs).

“Bread” is translated from ἄρτον (arton) which can be most readily translated as simply “bread” but also was used to denote any type of food.

 

How then shall we pray?

This third part of the Lord’s Prayer causes the Christian to pray for sustenance either for today, or for the coming day (depending on the translation). It is noteworthy that Christ does not instruct his disciples to pray for “our yearly bread”, but only for the sustenance of the next day or so.

This section of the prayer is a humbling one. This is because, as the Christian prays this part of the prayer, they are forced to acknowledge that they are, in fact, totally dependent upon God for their basic needs. This is true without respect to the numbers in their bank account, or the strength of their body, or the diligence of their work ethic. This is not to say that wisdom is irrelevant in regard to finances, health, and work ethic, but to acknowledge that God could, at any time, ordain or allow circumstances which would instantly nullify everything that the Christian finds security in.

Later on in Matthew, Jesus delivers the section of The Sermon on the Mount where he instructs his followers “do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?” (Matthew 6:25-26).

The fact that Jesus himself tells his disciples not to worry about food and clothing, after instructing them to ask that God would provide their daily bread, seems to indicate that the means by which a Christian avoids worrying about provision, is by petitioning God for their daily provision, and by trusting in His care for them.

Summary

To pray this section of the Lord’s Prayer is to admit dependence upon God for even the most basic needs. Other words of Jesus teach the Christian to trust in the character and love of the God that they pray to.

 

Sources:

Bible Hub Interlinear Bible (n.d.). Retrieved August 2, 2020, from https://biblehub.com/interlinear/matthew/6-11.htm

Definitions quotes from Strong’s Concordance as referenced from the Bible Hub Interlinear Bible

For a more in-depth analysis, see the Matthew Henry commentary found here:

https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/matthew-henry/Matt.6.9-Matt.6.15

 

Links:

The Lord’s Prayer (NASB): https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+6%3A9-15&version=NASB

Matthew 6:25-34 (NASB) “do not be worried about…”:

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+6%3A25-34&version=NASB

 

 

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