Each Day We Must Seek God for the Provisions We Need
Asking God to supply us with our daily bread at one time mystified me. It seemed like a vain repetition (Matthew 6:7) for something that didn’t matter to me. Yet when I learned the context of this request, it made sense.
Two thousand years ago many people struggled with food scarcity. Having enough to eat was a daily concern.
Asking God to provide us with the bread we need each day is, therefore, a request for what we need to live. And it’s a reminder to depend on him to take care of us.
Jesus taught his disciples to pray in this way (Matthew 6:9-13). It’s a model for us to guide our daily prayers. One of my daily practices is to recite this passage and then pray it in my own words.
To keep this prayer from becoming a rote exercise, I strive to vary my wording and to contemplate each phrase as I make my request.
My version of “give us today our daily bread” became something like “God, give us today what we need to live.”
As I begin thinking about praying for our daily bread in this way, I developed an image of what that request meant. It evolved over time and eventually became an incorrect perspective of seeking God’s daily provisions for our lives.
Though this took place over several years, I got to a point where when I asked God to give us today our daily bread, I envisioned an old stingy man, wearing a dingy gray robe, handing me one small piece of bread and a tiny cup of water.
This was the basic provision I needed to stay alive. And that was what he was giving me.
Yet God is not stingy.
He wants to supply us extravagantly with what we need, with what we ask for. James reminds us that we have not because we ask not (James 4:2).
I desperately needed to change my perspective of what it meant when it came to God supplying me with my daily bread.
My Daily Bread
To reform my view, I begin to envision God in a grand storehouse of provisions, one heaped high with every possible thing I could need. He stands in this vast warehouse of supplies he’s prepared for me and my family.
Wearing a royal robe and impressive gold crown, he sports a broad smile. He stretches his arms wide in a grand display of generosity. It’s all there for me. He’s already prepared what I need for my day, and it’s in stock, ready for me in a moment. All I need to do is ask.
So instead of saying something like “God, give us today what we need to live,” I updated my wording.
Envisioning his grand stockpile of what he’s prepared for me, I expectantly say something like “God, give us today what we need to live . . . and to thrive . . . and to accomplish your call on our lives.”
That’s what I ask for, and that’s what I receive.
And just like the Israelites gathering their manna—their daily bread—each day (Exodus 16:14-31), I, too, make this request of God each morning.
It would be foolish for me not to.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.
Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.