Give us day by day our daily bread.
The prayer for daily bread need not he a selfish one. It may be the expression of a pure and lofty desire. Our meat and drink and other most common necessities have a noble as well as a mean side. In this selfish world there may be found some men who do not live for self. and by whom the supports and comforts of life are sought and valued only as a means to the better doing of God's will. In their prayers the petition for bread follows naturally, "Thy will be done." The prayer for daily bread is a confession of our dependence upon God. All the prayer in the world, however, will not provide food for the man who is too lazy to work. We are creatures of manifold needs. The phrase, "necessaries of life," includes many other things than those which are required for our physical well-being. The higher part of our nature requires its daily bread.
1. To starve our finer faculties is no mote allowable than to starve our bodies. The majority of men and women do not realize what it is to starve the mind.
2. But man is a social as well as an intellectual being. The social nature requires its appropriate food. We cannot be satisfied from ourselves. We require help and sympathy from others, and we require to give help and sympathy to others, as we require our daily bread.
3. But we have deeper wants still, which cannot be satisfied by the hardest work, the largest knowledge, or the dearest love. We have an inward spiritual life which can only be fed in communion with the Divine. We need God. Jesus spoke of Himself as "the Bread of Life." His mission was to feed the Divine life of the world. When we pray "Give us," etc., we pray for the love of God, the grace of Christ, and the fellowship of the Spirit, for faith in an eternal righteousness, for a sense of the unseen things, for earnest aims and holy affections, and immortal hopes, for everything that ministers to the growth and perfection of the spiritual life.
Parallel VersesKJV: Give us day by day our daily bread.