“Give us today our daily bread.” (Matthew 6:11 NIV)
It is said that no good deed goes unpunished. So, how grateful were the Hebrews after delivery from slavery and oppression in Egypt? They were so grateful that they complained at seemingly every turn.
Once, they were without food. “Sure we were subjected to long days of back-breaking labor but at least we had something to eat back in Egypt!” So, God provided food for them in the wilderness. They awoke and there was sweet bread on the ground. “Manna,” they called it.
Curious thing about the manna. There was always enough for that day only. When they arose the next morning, there was enough for that day. And so forth. On the day before the Sabbath, there was enough for two days so that they would not have to work by gathering up the manna on the Sabbath day.
When we pray, “Give us today our daily bread,” there is something of an echo of that episode in Israel’s history. We are asking God for daily provision, just like he provided for them during their wilderness wandering.
Our culture is hyper-consumptive. The drive for “more” is strong. Contentment with “enough” is rare.
So, praying for “daily bread” is a way for Christians to resist the constant acquisitive pull. It is a way to keep us learning the satisfaction of enough rather than longing for excess.
So long as we cannot be satisfied with enough, we are captive to consuming in excess. But great freedom and happiness are found in contentment with enough.
Prayer: God, help me exit the consumptive rat race of striving for more. Reconnect me to contentment with enough that I may know the freedom and happiness you long to provide. Amen.