Give us day by day our daily bread.
There is another expression the prayer which we must not overlook. In Matthew it reads, "Give us this day our daily bread"; in Luke, "Give us day by day our daily bread." In both, therefore, is that distributive idea of allotting to each day the proper character and quantity of its bread. For how the days do differ! At one time it is the diminution of supply that is wanted, to abate our pride, to increase our sense of dependence, to chasten and soften us; at another only a full table and prosperity can give us strength and encouragement. We labour on the same, day after day, trying to get all we can, the best and the most. We know not how to regulate our own lives; we are beyond ourselves. Our lives are too delicate for our hands to manage, and so we leave it to God. We can do nothing else, for we cannot see either the poverty or the fever of our blood. Unrequited labour is no contradiction, therefore; unexpected and apparently cruel disappointment is not to seem unaccountable. Neither of them is to make us say, "I will not labour, or I will not enjoy to be happy again." It is right for us to keep the stream of human life full of activity and work. Only He who presides over us, "our Father," knows when and where that flood shall be brought to bear on the machinery of life, so that it shall either produce the greatest results, or just let us have enough, perhaps scarcely enough to live on. In our earliest, simplest prayer, we embody this trust, which it is the work of all life to learn perfectly. We would not leave it out, as we see on every side men making shipwreck of themselves because they think that they know and understand all the wants of their own life. We can only determine to say and use it more constantly, to remember it under disappointment, to rejoice in it in prosperity, to feel sure that the Father alone can feed us with food convenient for us.
Parallel VersesKJV: Give us day by day our daily bread.