When is the last time you sat down to eat but had no food and no resources to get any food? When, if ever, have you prayed for God to provide you food for that day, that meal? To us in the USA that just doesn’t happen, but for millions of believers in other parts of the world it is a daily occurrence. They are aware of their daily dependence on God for the provision of the most basic needs. God wants His children to ask for these things. “Give us today our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11).
“Bread,” in the Greek, refers to common, ordinary bread. It’s nothing fancy, just normal, basic nourishment. Bread was the staple of their diet. It wasn’t limited to the food item we call ‘bread’ but stood in a broader way for all our material needs. Jesus was telling His followers to pray for their basic necessities, including food. Martin Luther wrote that this includes things such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, yard, fields, cattle, money, possessions, a devout spouse, devout children, devout employees, devout and fearful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, discipline, honor, good friends, faithful neighbors and other things like these.
Clearly our material needs to not lie outside the realm of prayer. There is nothing unspiritual about praying for our physical needs. In doing so we admit our moment by moment 100% dependency on God for all we have. Jesus wants us to recognize our hand to mouth existence, our complete dependence on Him.
In the USA today it can be hard to appreciate that when there are so many resources to keep us from going without. We have employment, savings, insurance, government programs, friends and even strangers who are willing to help, etc. It’s easy to forget that God is the one working behind these means to use them to provide for us. Instead of appreciating these things we tend to expect them, and even more and more of them. But we really are dependent on God for their daily provision. We are dependent on Him for every breath we take, for our jobs and health, for our economy, for weather to raise crops, for protection from disasters that would destroy our economy or food supply. We are just as dependent on God as the poorest believer in a poor third world country. At least they recognize their dependence, often we do not. Take time throughout this day to continually thank God for His gracious provision for all your needs.
(Written by Jerry Schmoyer, 2014. You can find more of his writings at http://www.christiantrainingonline.org/. If you have questions or suggestions feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org)