“The tree of mercy will not drop its fruit unless shaken by the hand of prayer.”
“Give us this day our daily bread.” (Matt. 6:11) This petition stands in the very center of the Lord’s Prayer. The petitions that preceded this one were like mountain peaks which have allowed us to see the glory and majesty of the Father. The petitions that follow capture the great need and weakness of humanity. Now, for a moment we will stand on the plateau that is this verse and observe the encounter of the greatness of God and the frailty of man.
The prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread” strengthens the believer’s prayer life by reminding the believer not to take anything for granted. It is grace that brings us even the smallest daily staples. From his storehouse the Lord brings out whatever we will need to accomplish his will. David writes, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” (Ps. 24:1) His ownership extends over all the livestock (Ps. 50:10), all the produce, and over all of mankind. Man’s need is so great as to extend even to the loaf of bread that sustains his precarious existence.
This loaf of bread signifies not only the need of man upon God but also the greatness of God to meet man in the daily routine of his life. A great barrier to prayer is crossed when we realize that God is intimately concerned about us and the mundane affairs of our lives. He loves us. Jesus’ knowledge of God’s great love for each individual compelled him to give us this instruction. The God who “determines the number of the stars,” also “heals the brokenhearted.” (Ps. 147:3, 4) Jesus is living proof that God is willing to become involved in our lives even on a daily basis. Wasn’t it Jesus who “made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant…and became obedient to death?” (Phil. 2) In the manic monotony of our daily schedules we find him willing to meet with us and available for us. No wonder pastor Helmut Thielicke notes, “In this lowliness lies the supreme greatness of God. When we ‘little people’ are permitted to talk to him about such ‘little things,’ this does not dishonor his divinity, but it does transfigure the trivialities.” (Our Heavenly Father, 87) Have a blessed week and we will see you on Sunday!
Love in Christ,