Give us day by day our daily bread.
Human nature is made up of two parts, soul and body, and the Lord's prayer is so framed as to have direct reference to the wants of both. The petition for "daily bread," while, apparently, it is one of the smallest, is really one of the greatest of them all. It seems small, because —
1. We ask for what so many already possess;
2. We ask it only for the small circle around our table; and
3. We ask it only for today.It is, nevertheless, a great petition, because —
1. We ask that earthly bread may be changed into heavenly.
2. We ask God to feed all those who are in want.
3. We ask Him to supply the daily necessities of a waiting world.
4. We ask it to-day, and ever again to-day. All the blessings of this life, as well as those of the life to come, were forfeited by man's transgression in Eden, and the Almighty has a right to withhold, or to give, just as He sees fit.
I. The fact that we thus apply to our Heavenly Father, teaches us our DEPENDENCE UPON HIM.
II. A wholesome lesson of CONTENTMENT.
III. FRUGALITY AND PATIENT LABOUR
V. BENEVOLENCE. From whence do all good things come? Is not God the Author and Giver of them? Ought not those whom He has blessed with abundance be glad to share it with the children of want and suffering? Aye, can we, with a quiet conscience, offer the prayer, "Give us this day our daily bread," while our ears are deaf to the piteous appeals of the needy?
VI. FAITH. The wants of the body are certainly important, but those of the soul are much more so. The petition which we are considering has reference to both. Not only do we implore our Heavenly Father to give us needful supplies of food for our bodily health, but nourishment for the soul.
(J. N. Norton, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Give us day by day our daily bread.