Truth Taught- Jesus teaches us to go to our heavenly Father daily for the needs of the day.
As we have been working our way through the Sermon on the Mount and, in these days, the Lord’s Model Prayer, we find ourselves at the second division. The first half of the Model Prayer teaches us that we should be more concerned with God’s name than our name. He is to be honored and reverenced not us. So, we pray specifically for God’s name to be holy in this world.
We are next told that our concern should be first and foremost for God’s Kingdom rather than preoccupied with our kingdom. We are to desire God’s Kingdom to be set up on this earth and function as it does in heaven.
So, the beginning of our prayers should focus on God’s glory and God’s Kingdom.
Today, we will look at the next part of the Model Prayer where we ask God to meet our needs in this life.
Matthew 6:11–15 (ESV)
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
12 and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
1. Asking God to Meet Our Needs Shows Our Dependence on Him
When Jesus tells us that it is proper to ask God, our Father to meet our needs He is highlighting the fact that prayer is our acknowledgement that we depend on God for everything.
Now this fits in very well with the first part of the prayer because as we go to God in prayer for the things we need we are honoring Him in that we realize He is the only One who has the power to grant our requests. This is a good daily habit for all believers to get into. Praise God for His power to meet your needs,
When we give God praise and thanks in prayer, we are demonstrating that we depend on Him. When we confess our sins, we are depending on His grace and forgiveness.
1 John 1:9 (ESV)
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
When we seek God for things in our lives, we are relying on Him as a child would a good father. When we give things over to God to handle, through prayer, we are saying we trust—depend on—Him.
1 Peter 5:6–7 (ESV)
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
When we resist worry and anxiety and instead trust that God will be faithful to His promises, we depend on him. Jesus said,
Matthew 6:31–32 (ESV)
31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
We also seek wisdom through prayer, and depending on God to direct our path.
James 1:5 (ESV)
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
Prayer shows our complete dependence on God. This is a good daily practice because not only are we honoring God, we are reminding ourselves that we are dependent on God.
2. Pray For Today’s Needs Today
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
Do you see the emphasis here? We are called to pray the day of for the needs of that day. The word daily here is a very rare Greek word. It is only used here in this one verse in the Bible. It literally means “of the day that is coming”. Taking Jesus’ example of rising early in the morning to pray, we too are to pray in the morning for the needs of the day. We are called to pray for the needs of the coming day the morning of that day. Of course there is nothing wrong with praying throughout the day and in the evening but it seems here in this case Jesus is telling us to pray for the needs of the day. There’s also nothing wrong with praying in the evening for the needs of the next day. The point here is that God wants us to pray daily for our immediate needs.
In the ancient world one was often paid at the end of a day’s work. They were not paid very much so it was almost impossible to save. So, they were working for that day’s pay to buy food for that day. A day’s pay purchased a day’s food.
The same is true in our Lord’s prayer emphasis. A day’s prayer is for the day’s needs.
One thing to keep straight is that praying for our daily needs is different than giving thanks. We thank God, for example, at meals for the food He has provided which is also acknowledging His greatness as our Provider.
This is a very important dynamic that God has set in place for all of His people in different areas. Our daily needs include…
A. Daily grace
God dispenses Grace daily…
Lamentations 3:22–24 (ESV)
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
God gives us today’s grace for today’s needs.
Hebrews 4:16 (ESV)
16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
How much of our lives to we spend disconnected from the day? What I mean is how much time do we spend thinking about tomorrow’s needs when tomorrow is not here yet. When we spend all our time thinking about the future and the potential trouble we have imagined will come to us we go it alone. God does not and will not give us grace for our imagined trouble that tomorrow may bring. He will give us grace for today’s trouble today.
Matthew 6:34 (ESV)
34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
We go to God in prayer every day asking Him for the grace only He can supply and does so in amounts only for that day because He wants us to come back to Him tomorrow for additional grace.
God gives us grace for today, grace for what’s right in front of us. Today is Sunday. And today God has given us the supply of grace we need for navigating Sunday, July 26, 2020 . But today, Sunday, God hasn’t given us the grace to handle Monday or our imaginations of Monday.
Stop for a second. Where has your imagination been all day? What have you been imagining about tomorrow, next week, next year? Those imaginations have made you heavy because God doesn’t give you grace for your imagination. He doesn’t work that way. He works this way:
Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day (Exodus 16:4).
God’s grace is like manna. God gives us “a day’s portion every day.” This is why Jesus taught us to pray for our “daily” bread, not “next week’s” bread.
There is a strong connection between daily grace and daily food, both come from God and both are to sustain us, one physically and one spiritually.
B. Daily Bread
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
Jesus used the word bread here for a reason. He could have said many other things to explain His point of going to God daily for our needs, He chose daily bread.
Jesus wanted His hearers and He wants us to go back with Him to the manna God gave the Israelites every day while they were in the dessert.
3. The Theology of Manna as a Principle for the Christian Life
Exodus 16:4 (ESV)
4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not.
Exodus 16:12–18 (ESV)
12 “I have heard the grumbling of the people of Israel. Say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’ ”
13 In the evening quail came up and covered the camp, and in the morning dew lay around the camp. 14 And when the dew had gone up, there was on the face of the wilderness a fine, flake-like thing, fine as frost on the ground. 15 When the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat. 16 This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Gather of it, each one of you, as much as he can eat. You shall each take an omer, according to the number of the persons that each of you has in his tent.’ ” 17 And the people of Israel did so. They gathered, some more, some less. 18 But when they measured it with an omer, whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack. Each of them gathered as much as he could eat.
The manna served as a test for the Israelites. Would they trust God daily for their needs? Would they say to themselves, I’m only going to gather enough manna for today because I know God’s promises are true. When God says that He will supply manna tomorrow for tomorrow’s needs He will do it.
This is a principle for our lives as Christians. God has promised to meet our needs. We don’t have to hoard money, food, or grace because we have a heavenly Father that says, come to Me tomorrow and I will give you what you need for tomorrow. The Israelites tried to hoard the manna and it spoiled.
The sooner we get this truth as Christians the sooner we can live a life free from going it alone without grace. Don’t try on tomorrow and imagine all the things that might happen. Think about today. Pray about today. Gather the grace and bread God rains down from heaven today for today’s needs.
James 1:17 (ESV)
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
It was in the context of this manna theology of trusting God every day that Jesus replies to Satan…
Deuteronomy 8:3 (ESV)
3 And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
We are then reminded that we don’t trust in the provision, in this case the manna, but we trust in the Provider, God alone.
4. Guarding Against Self-Sufficiency in the Land of Plenty
Living in America in the 21st Century we might often forget that all things come from God. We are to go to Him daily seeking our daily needs and showing our complete trust and dependency upon Him and not in ourselves. It’s also important to give God thanks and praise as our Provider.
Affluence can and often becomes a curse. When we have plenty we can forget God. We must be on guard to never fail to give God the credit for supplying all we need. We are not self-sufficient but God-dependent. We work and receive a wage but it is God who gives us the ability to work, He is responsible for everything we have. We cannot provide anything for ourselves, it all comes from God.
1 Corinthians 3:6 (ESV)
6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.
God supplies all our needs.
5. God Gave Us the Ultimate Manna…Jesus Christ the Bread of Life
In the Gospel of John, Jesus makes a very profound comparison. He has just feed 5,000 people with 5 barly loaves and 2 fish. There are some key points here. They distributed and Jesus tells everyone to eat their fill. That is the same as God told Moses to tell the people.
Right after the feeding of the 5000 Jesus begins to teach them that He is the real Bread of Life. In other words, manna sustained their physical life and the bread He distributed sustained them for the day. He is the eternal Bread of Life that gives to His followers eternal life, He sustains our life for eternity.
John 6:26–35 (ESV)
26 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” 28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30 So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ” 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”
35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.
Have you tasted of the Bread of Life?
Have you believed on Him whom God has sent down from heaven?
Today, we’ve seen together that God’s desire is that we come to Him daily in dependence and trust for the needs of the day. He will give us what we need, whether it’s daily bread, daily grace and our Savior. All come from God and all are to sustain our life.
Matthew by D A Carson in the Expositor’s Bible Commentary
A Theology of Matthew by Charles Quarles
A Gospel of Matthew by France
Matthew by Craig Bloomberg
Matthew by Doriani
Matthew by Charles Price
Matthew by Leon Morris
Blue Letter Bible