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Our Daily Bread

November 2001

Lord, when we pray in the Lord's prayer, "Give us this day our daily bread," we are reminded of your loving care for our physical bodies. Jesus showed us that. He spent much time healing diseases and taking care of physical problems. He was anxious when he thought that the crowd who had followed him out into a lonely place had a long road home and no food to eat. Thus, we are encouraged to pray about our physical needs, to pray for healing and for help. We pray, Lord, that you will stretch forth your hand and restore the sick to health. We pray especially for those whom we know to be suffering now. Let the beauty of your presence be with them, O Lord, to lift them up. Let the power of your arm be upon them, Lord, to give them strength.

Moreover, Lord, our prayer was for "this day," and thus we are reminded that this day is the most important day of our lives, and we should live it to the fullest. We remember how when the people of Israel were in the wilderness, you gave them manna each day only for that day. Certainly then the lesson to us is that we should live one day at a time and not worry about the distant future.

Moreover, Lord, this petition for daily bread teaches us how prayer works. If we prayed this prayer and then sat back and waited for bread to fall into our hands, we would certainly starve. Thus, we are reminded that prayer and work go hand in hand, that when we pray, we must go on to work to make our prayers come true. Thus, your power, Lord, must always be combined with the work of human beings in order to be effective in this life. Prayer like faith is dead without works. When we pray for our daily bread, we are recognizing two basic truths. That without you, Lord, we can do nothing, and without us, you can do nothing.

Lastly Lord, we note that we do not pray for MY daily bread, but for OUR daily bread. Thus, this prayer teaches us not to be selfish in our prayers or in our possessions. So, Let it be, O Lord. Amen.


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