Praying the Lord’s Prayer 06: Our Daily Bread

Hi, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray with Me”.

Today we continue praying the Lord’s Prayer.  We will focus on the phrase “Give us today our daily bread.” First, the whole prayer:

Our Father in Heaven,
    Hallowed be your name.
    Your kingdom come.
    Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
      Give us today our daily bread.
    And forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
    Save us from the time of trial,
    And deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, now and forever,
Amen.

Our Father in Heaven,

“Give us today our daily bread.” The United Nations says the world’s store of cereal grains is only 3-4 months supply.* That means the world is just three months from famine. In that narrow window, our daily bread depends on turning seasons, a shining sun, falling rain, and a dry harvest.

After harvest, our daily bread needs trucks to carry the grain to storage, mills to grind flour, cooks to bake bread, and grocery stores to sell it. And we need jobs or welfare cheques or food stamps to buy the bread, and a safe place to sit and eat it. This is our daily bread, “fruit of the earth and work of human hands.”**

Our Father, where are you in these cycles?  Are you a distant God who watches impassively as the seasons turn and the wheels of commerce run? Or, are you active in the process? Does it cause you grief as we subject the world to global warming, as we over fertilize and poison the planet, as we burn fossil fuels to make our bread? Does it give you joy when we eat in peace with family and friends?

Our Father, when we pray “Give us today our daily bread”:
– We ask you to participate with us in all parts of food production.
– We ask you to help us create a just and stable society where every person has enough food.
– We ask that if war or famine or weather interrupts the food supply, that you will be our refuge and strength.

We remember what Jesus said in Matthew’s gospel: “People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). He also said, “I am the bread of life. Anyone who comes to me will never be hungry” (John 6:35).  Our Father, we pray to you because we have felt the hunger Jesus talks about. He has taught us that we are hungry for the bread of heaven.

But who will teach us where to find the bread of heaven? We are moderns looking for the scientific explanations, analyzing the chemical properties of bread, studying the biology of digestion. But  Jesus points us to the mystery of things, saying, “Is not life more than food and the body more than clothes?” (Matthew 6:25). At the Last Supper Jesus gave bread to his disciples and said, “This is my body, broken for you.”  We ask you to give us the bread that lives in the mystery of Jesus’ broken body.

Our Father, give us today our daily bread. Provide the bread that feeds our life on earth, and provide in Jesus the bread of eternal life.

Amen.

I’m Daniel on the channel “Pray with Me.”

*UN Food and Agricultural Organization  UN Food & Agricultural Organization

** Liturgy of the Eucharist.  See Litury Eucharist

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