Of Praying for Temporal Blessings
Luke 11:3
Give us day by day our daily bread.

What are we taught by the mention of bread of this prayer? Temporal things are to be prayed for.

1. These are good things in themselves.

2. They are very needful and useful. Needful (as means sanctified of God) for preserving our being in the world, which, like a lamp, would soon be extinguished if a continual supply of new oil were not added thereto.

3. The want of them is a great hindrance to the work of our calling, to works of charity and piety, and a temptation to injustice.

(W. Gouge.)What instruction are we taught by this word "daily"? Our desire must be for no more than is needful for us. What may be accounted needful?

1. That which very nature requireth, as meat and drink to feed the body, and clothing to keep it warm; without these the body cannot but pine away and perish.

2. That which is meet for the estate wherein God hath set us, as fit instruments for artificers, books for scholars, ammunition for captains and other soldiers.

3. That which is requisite for the charge committed to us. As, if a man have wife and children, that which is meet for them, as well as for himself, may justly be accounted needful.

4. That which is apparently needful for the time to come. Fathers ought to lay up for their children.

(W. Gouge.)How doth God give bread, and the things here comprised under it?

1. By causing them to be brought forth.

2. By bringing them to us, so as we may partake of the use of them. Thus saith God to Israel, "I gave her corn, and wine, and oil," &c. (Hosea 2:8).

3. By giving them a blessing.

4. By sanctifying them to us.

(W. Gouge.)What are the particular good things for which, by reason of the fourth petition, thanksgiving is required?

1. Life itself. For every day that is renewed unto us affordeth matter of thanks even for that life which is lent us.

2. Health and strength in that life.

3. Sufficient means to preserve these. This Moses giveth in express charge to Israel, saying, "When thou hast eaten and filled thyself, thou shalt bless the Lord thy God."

4. Recovery of health and strength. For this did Hezekiah (as a perpetual testimony of his thankfulness) indite a psalm of praise, and cause it to be registered for all ages.

5. Good success in our pains. For this doth Abraham's servant give express thanks unto God (Genesis 24., 26, 27; 31:5, &c.).

6. The extent of God's providence to our family, and to such as we ought to provide for. Jacob acknowledgeth thus much (Genesis 33:11, 20).

7. God's bounty extended to the places where we dwell. Sion was the city of David, and in Jerusalem was his habitation; he doth therefore praise the Lord for that peace, plenty, safety, and other like blessings which God had bestowed thereupon.

8. God's providence in keeping away, or removing any evils, as famine, plague, sword, plots and practices of enemies, with the like.

9. The common blessings which God bestoweth on the whole world.The consideration whereof much enlarged David's heart to praise the Lord. What are the duties after which we ought to endeavour by reason of the fourth petition?

1. Diligence in our calling.

2. Good conscience in getting the things that are needful for us.

3. Confidence in God for His blessing.

4. Faith in the Lord Jesus for a right to what we have.

5. Faithfulness in nourishing and cherishing our bodies with that which we have.

6. Temperance in using such things as are most usual and useful for us.

7. Contentment in that which God bestoweth on us.

8. Providence for such as belong to our charge.

9. Liberality to such as need. The extent of this particle "us" reacheth to all of all sorts.

10. Joy in the occasions of rejoicing which others have for God's blessing on their temporal estate.

(W. Gouge.)Who may be accounted guilty of neglecting their own welfare?

1. They who care not what hurt they do to their bodies.

2. They who over-rigorously punish their bodies. Many blinded with superstition and besotted with idolatry.

3. They who through too eager a pursuit of what they like, waste their natural vigour, as Esau, who followed his hunting till he was faint.

4. They who by immoderate passion shorten their days. It is taxed as a fault in Rachel, that she refused to be comforted.

5. They who through niggardliness afford not themselves things needful.

6. They who cast themselves into needless dangers.

7. Self-murderers. It is the main scope of this petition to desire preservation of life.

(W. Gouge.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Give us day by day our daily bread.

WEB: Give us day by day our daily bread.

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