The word “us” stands out in this petition. It is striking that Jesus instructs that we pray “Give us…”, and not “Give me.” We cannot pray for ourselves alone. We ask bread for others, even our enemies. For we are commanded, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink” (Romans 12:20).
It is perhaps difficult to pray this petition with meaning as most of us have plenty of daily bread to spare. We are part of a culture suffering from too much rather than too little. To pray this prayer with any honesty we must pray in awareness of millions without bread or life’s basic needs. There are so many without clean water, housing, or medical care. For example, few of us know the pangs of real hunger or have seen supermarket shelves empty. To pray for our daily bread has a very different meaning for us than for a starving widow in Syria, or a mother in Somalia, scrounging for crumbs for her small children.
We pray for bread knowing that we are part of God’s wider human family. And so we pray, pleading with our Father to feed the hungry and care for the needy. And we pray, asking Father how we might be an answer to our prayer for the world’s desperate people. How might we bless others out of our daily abundance? We ask, and then we listen…
“Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God” is a prayer that Bill Pierce offered up as his eyes were opened to suffering children in the midst of war. God heard his prayer and led Bill Pierce to found World Vision, and later, Samaritan’s Purse, to provide bread and compassion for millions. As we pray today “Give us today our daily bread,” we ask our Father to open our eyes and to open our hands to the needs of all of “us”.
PRAY THE LORD’S PRAYER (MORNING-NOON-NIGHT)