So Mark and I were talking last night about how we so much want to have our situation change in regard to the overarching category of financial provision for our household. We keep praying, but it seems when we make a step forward, there are at least 2 steps back. Then, there’s the whole worrying that what we are able to do now could go away because of the current economic situation and other circumstances beyond our control. We left our conversation consoling one another that God has always provided for us to this point, and all we can do is trust He will continue (while, of course, doing our part.)
Then this morning, we went to church. After the worship service, we teach 3rd grade Sunday school. I confess, that when I have been the one doing the lesson, I haven’t done much preparation. But this is the second week I have asked Mark to teach the lesson. I should just be the helper every week because even when he is teaching the young children, Mark brings out things I never see.
The overall theme of the quarter in the Sunday school curriculum is worship. So we have had a couple lessons on the temple and the tabernacle, comparing the worship of the Old Testament to our worship today. Last week, we talked about Daniel and his refusal to worship the King and his desire to obey his heavenly father and to worship only the True God. The Lord’s prayer was tied to the lesson beginning last week, and that continued into this week.
Today, our Bible story was about Hannah, and her desire to have a baby. We read the story, and we talked about how Hannah persistently pled with God to give her the desire of her heart. After many faithful years of petition on her part, God granted her request, and Samuel, who would become an adviser to the king of Israel, was born.
The phrase of The Lord’s Prayer we focused on today was “Give us this day, our daily bread.” I say these words over and over again, mostly in public prayer, and it wasn’t until today that I realized this little phrase is more directive than I have ever given it credit for. In this little phrase, we are being told to ask God to meet our needs each day. Bread, symbolic of the staff of life, the body of Christ, the hope of the world, is definitely God’s gift to us, but He wants us to ask him for it every day. He wants to hear from us–to have us tell Him that we know He is the one who provides all that we need.
Also, through the conversation Mark was leading of these 8-year-olds, I saw a connection of the Lord’s Supper to the “daily bread.” In the Lord’s Supper, we are being refreshed, renewed, restored, and prepared to enter the world as representatives of Christ, the bread of the world. When we pray for the “daily bread,” we are also praying for Christ to work through us every day–that we would have Christ in us in a way that is meaningful to ourselves and those around us.
Maybe this isn’t too profound for the rest of the Christian public. But for me, today, where I was, it was what I needed to hear. I was convicted that I just “expect” God to work and provide too much of the time, and I don’t call on Him enough to meet my daily needs–to provide our daily bread. Yes. I often (if not always) thank Him for the food at meals, but daily bread goes a lot further than that–it is the full-orbed stuff of life that we need to ask God for. He wants to hear from me that I know I can’t survive apart from His gracious will.