Give us this day

Give us this day, our daily bread

Let's briefly recap.  The components of prayer.  Come into His presence with worship, acknowledging His character, His attributes.  Then aligning ourselves with His purposes, subjecting ourselves to His sovereign rule.  Desiring His Will, submitting our plans to His, above all.

Only then do we make our requests, our petitions.  And we need to do it daily.

Remember the story of the Israelites in the wilderness?  They were without food, desperate.  God sent them bread from Heaven, manna, every day.  Every day, He provided what they needed and every day, they were to gather what He sent.  What they gathered one day didn't last for the next - His provision was abundantly sufficient....for each day, one day at a time.  He didn't allow them to super-store once for all time.  Instead, He allowed them a daily reminder of not only their dependence on Him but also of His faithfulness to supply. 

That's the principle at work here.  Every day, we ask God for what we need for that day.  The strength, the wisdom, the guidance for the needs of that particular day.  We can't store up on Monday and have it last til Friday.  We need a consistent "diet" of His provision in order to meet the demands for each day.  And we need the continuous remembrance of His faithful presence, of His abundant generosity and grace. 

Which leads us to the second point here -- not just the "daily" aspect but also the "bread".  It is no coincidence that Jesus described Himself as "The Bread of Life".  He is our sustainer, our strength, our very Life.  HE is what we need when we lack wisdom or power or joy.  He IS all that and more.  All through the day I cry out to Him for the "bread" I need at that moment! For wisdom as I climb the stairs to address an issue with one of my children.  Humbling myself to ask forgiveness of my husband.  Trying to understand a passage of Scripture.  For financial provision...and the wisdom to handle what He sends.  For self-control when I really don't want to exercise but I do want to eat on entire bag of chocolate.  For compassion for others.  For meekness instead of anger.  For kindness towards someone who has hurt me.  For grace to extend forgiveness.  For faithfulness when I'd rather be self-indulgent.  On and on the list of my needs goes.  And on and on I ask for His bread.  Over and over and over.  And He gives.  Generously.  Without reproach.  Every day.  More than I ask.

He does give good gifts.  But what He really wants us to have is Himself. He is all we need.