I recently posted a meme that said, “If you want to see the truth you must be brave enough to look.” The quote I was originally looking for said, “If you wish to see the truth then hold no opinions for or against anything. To set up what you like against what you dislike is the disease of the mind.” Both quotes came together today and challenged me!
In my book, One Language, I take a great deal of time discussing the concept of the Lord’s prayer that deals with “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” And while it is connected to what I was challenged about today, more specifically it’s when Jesus tells us to pray for our “daily bread.”
I was raised in the Roman Catholic tradition. And I have probably said the Lord’s Prayer more times than I can count. But I just said it as a religious exercise; never really understanding what I was saying or taking the time to think it through. It would be many years before I would do that.
To be totally transparent, as a kid I did try to understand what it meant, but the deeper meaning simply alluded me.
For those of you who are not familiar with the “Lord’s Prayer” as it is referred to by many, here it is:
One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
He said to them, “When you pray, say:
‘Father, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us each day our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
And lead us not into temptation.”
There is a lot in there, especially when you are asking God to bring His kingdom down here on earth and have His will done like it is done in heaven. But today, my “ah-ha” moment was with the “daily bread” part.
I don’t know why, but when I pray for my daily bread, I am pretty much thinking of having enough for the day kind of thing- you know…one loaf, maybe two; don’t want to be greedy! But WHY?
Why do I think and pray like that? Is that what Jesus is telling us to do?
Perhaps it was my upbringing that ingrained in me that we shouldn’t ask too much from God- you don’t want to upset Him…or bother Him. Maybe it was that time in my life when I was taught that poverty was more holy than being wealthy. It could be a combination, right?
But today I was reminded of the way that Jesus looks at “daily bread.” And I wonder if His disciples thought back on this when they started to think about how Jesus was teaching them to pray.
There was a time when Jesus was faced with thousands and thousands of people who had come out to hear Him teach and there was no way for them to get food. Seeing them hungry moved Him to do something- feed all of them. Just one problem… they only had a couple fish and five loaves of bread.
That’s when Jesus prayed for “daily bread.”
“When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”
Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
“Bring them here to me,” he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
It’s possible that the few fish and loaves of bread could have feed Jesus and His disciples, but Jesus needed much more than that for what He intended to do. He needed more than His daily bread; He needed enough bread for Him, his disciples, 5,000 men, and the women and children with them. That’s a LOT of “daily bread!”
And as miraculous as it was for Jesus to multiply that little bit of food to feed all of those people, there was an additional lesson to be learned- there were 12 baskets full of leftovers!
The way that Jesus views “daily bread” is to have enough for everything that you are doing in cooperation with God plus more to spare!
So where did I get the idea that God wanted to supply only MY daily needs and then just the bare minimum?!?
To be honest… I don’t care! I’m not praying like that anymore.
I’m going to look at what God is asking me to do. Assess what I need to accomplish that task. And to ask Him for the provision (daily bread) to accomplish that task at hand, with some to spare!
Are you going to pray differently now too?