by Erin Bird
If you are reading this on Thursday, Jan 13, today is Day 13 of our 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting. I want to repeat what I said last week: if you've already missed a day or two or more, don't worry about it. Simply open your devotional booklet to Day 13 and do that page today. And if you've already given in to temptation from that which you are fasting, today is a new day, so begin the fast again.
To complement the 21 Days, we are looking at the Lord's Prayer as found in the book of Luke. We've already looked at verses 1 and 2, which brings us to verse 3, which says...
Give us each day our daily bread.
(Luke 11:3, ESV)
In the sermon at the Worship Gathering on January 2, we saw that trust is a key component of prayer. This cannot be seen any clearer than in the short sentence of verse 3. And we see "trust" as a theme in three ways:
Bread was considered a staple of the Jewish diet, the most common, almost-taken-for-granted, item of food included in a meal. And yet, Jesus is inviting His listeners to pray even for what they assume they will always have! Just as the ancient Israelites needed to trust God for manna while they wandered the wilderness in Exodus 16, you and I need to trust God to provide even the very basics in our own lives.
Now, don't make the mistake some literalists make and think this means you can only pray for bread. The bread represents the basics you need for daily living. So, it's okay to pray for God to supply money for the electric bill, gas for the car, and relief from sickness. To ask God to "give bread" is simply a poetical way of saying, "God, I am so dependent upon you, I need you to provide everything I need to live this life you have given me, even the most basic of necessities."
The second thing I want you to see is that Jesus invites us to pray for these basics to be provided "each day." In Matthew's version of the Lord's Prayer, we hear Jesus teach that "each day" includes "this day." You can trust God to provide exactly what you need today.
But there's more to this short sentence than just "give me the basics for today." According to the tools at NETBible.org, the construction of the Greek of verse 3 could also be translated, "Give us bread each day for the coming day."
To me, this means I can trust God so much, He will not only provide what I require today – He'll also provide what I need tomorrow. What a thought! This helps me be at peace.
In light of all of these three things from verse 3, let's end this Note in prayer together:
Help me to trust you to provide exactly what I need today as well as tomorrow. But I pray you will not only provide me with the food, income, shelter, and friendships I need to make it through each day. I also ask that You will provide me with the faith to trust You as my provider, and peace as an outcome of that faith.
In Jesus' name, I pray,
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