When we consider what has become known as the “Lord’s Prayer” or in some circles “Our Father”, we discover that Jesus is giving us the freedom to issue commands in prayer. We are not asking God to do these things, but actually commanding him, because all the verbs are commands, not requests. That is amazing! Furthermore, what is curious about Jesus commanding us to command God for our daily bread is that it is to be timely. Give us this day our daily bread. He could have said simply, give us our daily bread, but he added “this day”. We are to receive our bread on the day it is needed. This reminds us of the method God used to distribute the manna to the Israelites in the wilderness. He didn’t give a week’s worth, but each day he distributed the manna, except on Friday, when he gave two day’s worth to cover what was needed on Saturday, the Sabbath. This method of distribution is much like how God gives light. He gives us light for each day, when the sun comes up. He doesn’t give us any light ahead of time. As we depend on God giving light, we should also depend upon him for sustaining our life, physically and spiritually.
Jesus is addressing something much more than physical bread when we consider this command for our daily bread. When Jesus was tempted to turn stones to bread, he responded that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the Father. While bread is needed for part of our sustenance, we need more. We need revelation from God our Father to survive and thrive throughout life. Jesus’ command regarding bread also undoes the curse to Adam in Genesis 3, when God informed Adam that he would eat bread by the sweat of his face. Mankind has needed to toil to earn his bread to eat, but Jesus says here that we are to receive it from our heavenly Father. In making this command in prayer, Jesus changed the purpose for our work. It is not primarily for earning a living, but what Jesus would say later in Matthew 6. We are to seek God’s kingdom and everything we need will be added to us.
Through prayer, Jesus leads us to living a completely different lifestyle, that frees us from the toil and worry of seeking to sustain ourselves through our own efforts. The remaining question is how are we to apply what Jesus instructed?