Bible Society of South Africa
Hennie Symington

Prayer – Day 14

Fourth petition

Bible text(s)

11Give us today the food we need.

Matthew 6:11GNBOpen in Bible reader

This simple petition is a prayer asking for the daily necessities of life such as food for the day ahead. When Jesus taught this prayer, he probably meant something very simple — that we should ask for the basic necessities of life from God. Even if we work to earn our daily bread, as most people do, it still comes to us as a gift from God.

On a more abstract level, asking for our daily bread reminds us not to store up what we need for tomorrow, or the next year, but to live simply, trusting that he truly will supply in all our needs. The Israelites learnt this the hard way when they were told to gather manna in the desert daily and not to store it up for the following day. Of course this doesn’t mean that we can simply pray this prayer and sit back, waiting for God to deliver everything to our door! But it does mean that we can trust him to see that our basic needs are met.

However, this prayer does not mean praying just for ourselves. Praying in this manner may well invite us to take action — we may be the ones God chooses to answer this prayer for others. In fact, all Christians are called to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and give to the poor. We are all called to play our part in distributing the earth’s resources in such a way that all may have their “daily bread”.

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