We Should Focus on Our Daily Needs: A Reflection on the “Lord’s Prayer”

The Lord’s Prayer is known as the paradigm of Christian prayer. It begins by addressing God as “Our Father.” It is an invitation for all of us to implore the Divine life to share in our lives and in the world. Jesus wants His followers to see themselves as loving children of God. He invites us, as brothers and sisters, to share with His intimate, familial relationship with God, our loving Father, and Creator.

The Lord’s Prayer is made up of many components that include praise, thanksgiving, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, guidance, and petition. The part of the petition is intended to ask God to sustain our physical nourishment, “Give us this day our daily bread.”

Daily bread does not only refer to the food that we eat every day.  It also includes everything that has to do with provisions that support a person to flourish and to thrive. These include clothings, homes, lands, animals, money, goods, relationships, families, friends, work, weather, peace, health and much more. If you notice, there are several necessary ingredients to bake the “bread” that we ask from the Lord.

 

Jesus puts emphasis on bread for this day by saying, “Give us this DAY our DAILY bread.” The bread we ask for is not the bread for tomorrow, nor the bread for next year,  nor for the next five years.  Jesus taught us to ask for bread for today, this day.

It is true and practical to plan for the future. However, we predispose ourselves to tremendous worries and anxieties if we rack our minds with questions asking for bread for the coming days.

Jesus teaches us a serene trust in our Heavenly Father. This is not to say we can’t do some wise planning and exercise prudence. We can and we should. But our Lord Jesus reminds us to focus on each and every day of our lives. He says, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble (Matt 6:34).”

When we ask God for our daily bread, we don’t pray, “God, give me what I want.” We ask God to give us what we need. Our relationship with the Lord becomes a means of great gain when accompanied with contentment in our life by focusing on our needs for today.  Saint Francis de Sales said, “Do not fear what may happen tomorrow; the same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you today and every day.”

Lord, give us this day our daily bread.

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