Daily Bread 5-20-07
Matt 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.
Introduction: Jesus said: “In this manner, therefore, pray. Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread.” Matt 6:10-11
When the Lord responded to the disciples request that He teach them how to pray; He gave them the most perfect and complete outline for prayer ever known. This prayer had seven petitions or requests in it. The first three have to do with God and are well-known by the word “thy in the (KJV);” “Thy name,” “Thy kingdom,” and “Thy will.” The second four petitions have to do with human well-being and are mark by the word “Us”: “give us,” “forgive us,” “keep us” and “lead us.” In these last petitions we turn from praying for God’s glory to praying for our needs.
The Introduction: Our Father
The “Thy” Section
“In Heaven” Thy name be hallowed – worshiped
Thy kingdom come – guidance
Thy will be done – yielded-ness
On Earth as it is in Heaven
The Us Section
“On Earth” Give us bread – provision
Give us forgiveness – pardon
Keep us from temptation – victory
Deliver us from evil – protection
It is interesting that the first real request in this model prayer only comes after we have begun in praise and have stated the priority of the kingdom of God and His rule in our lives. We can only truly pray effectively for ourselves after gaining the perception that worship and a focus on the kingdom of God will provide. Only then are we ready to ask for the things that we need.
I. THE PRAYER FOR GOD’S PROVISION
“Give us this day our daily bread.”
In this prayer for daily “bread,” bread stands for more than just food. It stands for all the results we get from eating food. It stands for all the physical things we need for life.
You have three kinds of needs: They are physical needs which are shelter, food and clothing.
When we woke up this morning, none of us had even the slightest doubt that we would be able to eat today. Most of the major concerns for the average American are what we will eat, not whether we will eat. We also have emotional needs that give us stability, confidence and self esteem. Then there are spiritual needs, which can only be satisfied by the bread of Heaven, Jesus Christ.
What this request means! First, to pray: “give us this day our daily bread,” calls to mind our absolute dependence on God for everything. God made us with needs so that we would have to look to Him to supply them. To pray this prayer for “our daily bread,” expresses our confidence and belief that God is able to answer our prayer and to meet our needs.
It is not that we are praying to overcome God’s unwillingness to give or seeking to bend His will to ours, but it is rather the taking hold of God’s willingness to give. You see God is willing to give if we are willing to ask.
Matt 7:7 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
I know that there are people right here in this room that are overwhelmed with the day to day struggles of this life. Some things that have happened have no rhyme or reason. It seems you can’t put a finger on the cause and so you surely can’t put a foot down to stop it. No one can understand it because it’s not making any sense to you, so how can you explain it to any one else. Perhaps you are trying to be strong, but you know that for now, your knees are as weak as a kitten.
It’s called “Daily Bread” for a reason. Tomorrow is not here and yesterday is gone. You can’t fix messed-up stuff…you can’t undo wrong things that have happened…you can’t change the facts…you can’t salve all the problems in your family…you can’t alter history, yours or any one else. Your depression won’t move it…your tears won’t sooth it and your worry will not transform it. You will be stuck if you stay and the devils in hell will take a break because you are doing a better job on your self than they could by torment.
Matt 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Matt 6:34 (Amplified) So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.
God desires daily dependence on Himself.
Exodus 16:16 This is the thing which the Lord has commanded: Let every man gather it according to each one's need, one omer for each person, according to the number of persons; let every man take for those who are in his tent. 17 Then the children of Israel did so and gathered, some more, some less. 18 So when they measured it by omers, he who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack. Every man had gathered according to each one's need. 19 And Moses said, “Let no one leave any of it till morning.” 20 Notwithstanding they did not heed Moses. But some of them left part of it until morning, and it bred worms and stank. And Moses was angry with them. 21 So they gathered it every morning, every man according to his need. And when the sun became hot, it melted.
When God provided manna in the wilderness for the Israelites, they were commanded to gather only enough food for each day (Daily Bread). If they gathered more than they needed it would spoil over night…in other words it would stink. God wanted them to realize that they must trust Him to provide for their needs every day.
In the spiritual realm it is just as true that yesterday’s strength is absolutely useless to fight today’s battles. Sometimes we as Christians rely on our experiences with God in the past. Yes, they were good, but we need a fresh touch from God in our lives everyday.
God never gives us a river of grace in our lives, but He expects us to turn to Him everyday for the grace sufficient to meet the challenges of that day. He is not going to give you the grace today to do something tremendous tomorrow. Our pray should be: “Our bread as it is needed, give us today.”
The phrase, “This Day” reminds us as believers that we need daily renewal of our patience. We often get stressed out with anxiety because we try to face the problems of tomorrow today. When we are stressed, we have less control over our emotions. That is why some people get angry at the drop of a hat. Depression falls on us more easily. Worry grips us more readily and temptations catch us unawares.
The Wall Street Journal ran a front page story on the subject of nervous breakdowns, saying The nervous breakdown, the mysterious affliction that has been a staple of American life and literature for more than a century, has been wiped out by the combined forces of psychiatry, pharmacology, and managed care. But people keep breaking down anyway.” According to USA Today’s weekend magazine, anxiety disorders are the Number 1 mental health problem in the United States, costing Americans more than $42 billion a year in doctor bills and workplace losses. In the Bible, the prophet Elijah once had a “nervous breakdown.” By studying his experience we can learn how God deals with us when we’re overwrought and overstrained.
The Lord wrote a sevenfold prescription for Elijah. The same therapy will work for us today.
1 Kings 19:1 And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, also how he had executed all the prophets with the sword. 2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time. 3 And when he saw that, he arose and ran for his life, and went to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.
1. Sleep and nourishment (vv. 4–8). Elijah was beat, because he had battled paganism for three years, waged a strong war on Mt. Carmel against the prophets of Baal, prayed with power, and had run a near marathon back to Jezreel. But verses 4–8 tells how God provided sleep, bread, and water for Elijah under the broom tree.
2. Angelic help (vv. 5–7). The Lord sent an angel to care for Elijah. Hebrews 1:14 says that angels are ministering spirits sent to serve those who inherit salvation. Many times angels minister to us though we are unaware of it.
3. Ventilation (vv. 9–10). God allowed Elijah to ventilate his frustrations. When we can express our feelings to the Lord or to a good friend, it helps reduce our spinning emotions. We can identify them and begin to get them “out of our system.”
4. God’s still, small voice (vv. 11–13). The ultimate answer to life’s downturns is rediscovering God’s perfect Word. Elijah needed a gentle word of reassurance, a gentle whisper. The same whisper comes to us as we open the Scripture.
Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
5. A renewal of purpose (vv. 14–17). The Lord gave Elijah a set of new assignments. Nothing helps us overcome discouragement like rediscovering our purpose in life and to work on what God has called us to do.
6. Reassurance (v. 18). Things are never as bad as they appear where God is concerned. Elijah had twice insisted that he was the only surviving worshiper of God. The Lord told him there were 7000 others.
7. A Friend (vv. 19–21). The Lord provided the friendless Elijah with a friend, Elisha, to share the load. A healthy life keeps its friendships in good repair.
Are you overwhelmed, stressed, discouraged and depressed? God wants to renew your strength and to restore your soul. The way He revived Elijah is the pattern He wants to use to revive your spirit, too.
The invitation to pray “Give us this day our daily bread,” is not a reason to pray for everything in the book. The prayer is an invitation to come to God with even those things that others might call small.
This prayer also states our willingness to accept the kind of bread that God supplies. Another translation of this verse would be, “Give us this day bread suited to our need.”
Proverbs 30:8 Remove falsehood and lies far from me; Give me neither poverty nor riches, Feed me with the food allotted to me.
The King James translates the word “allotted” as “convenient.” Think of this in terms of the convenience food-stores, what would they carry; the necessities, the things needed for “Daily Life.”
THE PERFECTION OF GOD’S PROVISION IS FOUND IN HIS SON
The ultimate bread is Jesus Christ Himself. The only bread that will satisfy completely and forever is the provision of the Lord Jesus Christ. “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” John 6:51
Jesus said: “In this manner, therefore, pray. Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread.” Matt 6:10-11