Give us day by day our daily bread.
A man comes and says to you, "Give me bread." It is the easiest way to give him the price of a loaf: it is harder, it is wiser, it is kinder, to find him work, to stimulate his energy, to encourage his flagging spirits, to procure friends for him. Sometimes he is passing through an intermediate wilderness, where he needs a little manna rained down for a time; and you are to imitate your God in doing it. Bat that is not the rule of working; nor is it God's. And yet, when you had thus set a man upon his feet, you would not for a moment think that you had not answered his cry for bread, or did not deserve his thanks. You would expect them all the more, and they would be more valuable as they came from the lips of an independent man, instead of from the parrot-like phrases of a pauperized human being. So we pray, and the best answer God can give is to make us men. We see its answer in every friend, in every strong thought, virtuous resolution, and energetic impulse. We learn to acknowledge Him everywhere. We trace Him from our table to the sunbeam that on some distant prairies ripened the wheat. He is diffused in all places. He is a God of wonderful resources. He is our God, meeting us at every point, speaking to us of the greatness and happiness of life. The prayer makes us respect ourselves, as we see God thus ready to mingle His power with ours, and to work with us everywhere.
Parallel VersesKJV: Give us day by day our daily bread.