Give us this day our daily bread. Matthew 6.11
In their wilderness journeys the Israelites collected manna each day. They could only collect enough manna for today. They were prohibited from stockpiling it. In fact, if they collected more than they needed for one day, the surplus manna would get rotten and be infested with maggots. Jesus' instruction on prayer recalls that time and that dependence on God.
There are two things that we should especially note here.
1. God will take care of us for today. We are not promised anything more. Each day we are to go to God with our needs. If we take this seriously we need to be in prayer each day. You and I may get frustrated by not knowing God's long-range plan for our lives. We might get discouraged or feel as though we are getting nowhere when we have to ask for help over and over. But remember, he does provide enough. Always.
2. You and I are required to recognize our dependence on God. The natural state of humanity is to exercise independence and make our own decisions. We want to be on our own all the time. But here Jesus encourages us to remember that we are children of the Father. Like the children of any parent, we need to always be mindful that we need God for everything. He is not just a source of encouragement and comfort when we are in need. Everything we have, all that we know, comes from him. We need God and his work in our lives and world for everything.
This is not a nice prayer for food. It is not grace before a meal. This is nothing less than a declaration that we make affirming our faith and relationship to God.
Prayer: Lord, be with us today. Don't let us be discouraged about the future. Help us get through this circumstance. Give us an answer for today's problem. Then remind us that we always need you. Help us to depend on you for every part of our lives. Amen.