This morning I was asking God again to give me a heart of prayer, that I would remember to be praying for my friends. I was asking Him how should I pray? The question echoed the disciples own question to Jesus on the subject, and the answer started running through my mind, “Our Father Who art in heaven.”
I went glibly past the daily bread part, and got stuck where I frequently get caught up, “and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” As I went through the rest of my day, I have to admit the prayer never crossed my mind again, until I was praying for someone dear to me that evening. She needed help swallowing her daily bread, and as I was praying for her it hit me. Our daily bread. Wait a minute, daily manna. God’s sustenance for today.
Jesus wasn’t telling us to pray for God’s provision for tomorrow, He was teaching us that God’s provision is always today, now. We can’t live anywhere but now anyway. The disciples would have understood a lot sooner than I did. They grew up with the knowledge of their forefathers gathering manna in the desert. God’s grace literally dropped down like dew every morning. They would have heard the stories of the ones who tried to gather more than their daily share and the disgusting results. When I try to grab tightly to what I have been given for today in hopes of somehow keeping it for tomorrow, it slips through my grasping hands and I lose it the way the Israelites lost their stored manna. Trying to hang on to today’s grace is me not trusting God to provide all over for me again the next day.
God knew from the beginning how short our memories are, how we need to rely on fresh grace every morning, fresh bread for our souls. God knew how my heart can become stale and forgetful, how I need to learn over and over to pray, “Give me this day my daily bread.”
Matthew 6:9-13 “This, then is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.'”