“When you pray, say... ‘Give us each day our daily bread.’” - Luke 11:2-3
In the culture of that day, bread was the primary staple on any table. In the Old Testament, the traveling Israelites complained that they had nothing to eat until God showered down “bread from heaven” (Exodus 16). Manna, which in Hebrew, means, “What is it?” was a food that God provided for them in the desert. They were to gather only as much as they needed for each day. And on the sixth day they gathered twice as much so that they wouldn’t have to gather on the Sabbath day. God’s miracle bread was a reminder that even a basic provision like food came from his hand—not because of their hard work or resourcefulness. And in the New Testament, Jesus challenged the people to trust God for their daily bread for life, health, and survival.
Jesus connected bread and prayer as two sides of the same coin. We are dependent on God for our food each day, and this reminds us to pray for our daily provisions. It also reminds us that we are daily in need of God’s protection and forgiveness from sin. All of us sinners need God’s protection and forgiveness daily, just as we need food and other supplies.
In this way Jesus teaches us to pray every day, recognizing that we need to trust the Lord and that he will supply what is needed for each day—to meet our physical as well as our spiritual needs.