Pray then like this: “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, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. – Matthew 6:9-13
I’m getting a colonoscopy. Yup, that’s right, time to explore more of my body in my year of body exploration (or at least that is what it seems to have become). Why I am doing this you ask, well here is the short end of the long story: after some lab results from the doctor I am having a colonoscopy/endoscopy to determine if I have chrones disease or any other inflammatory bowel diseases (Yes, I appreciate your prayers with all this – thank you!).
By now you may be wondering, “what the heck does this have to do with ‘my daily bread’?” as I have titled this blog post. Well, I had to give some background to get to where I’m going with all of this. I’ve always been intimidated by the idea of fasting. Ever since I became a Christian I have heard many talk about fasting for Spiritual reasons and I have always thought to myself “I don’t think I would ever be able to do that”, and so I never have. As many who have gone through having a colonoscopy would know, the difficult part of getting one is the preparation leading up to the actual day, because it requires fasting from anything but clear liquids among other not-so-enjoyable things… but yes, it requires fasting! This thing I have been fearful of for so long, and now at the age of 34, I am being forced into a time of abstaining from food for health reasons. But I feel that God has used this time for other reasons, as He often does.
While spending some extended time with God this morning in prayer, I was asking God for physical strength through my day… I asked that He would be my bread for the day. This day that I had feared, I asked Him to replace my desire for food for a greater desire for Him. And as I prayed this to God, my mind went to the Lord’s prayer, that you can see above. But I got hung up on the part that says “Give us this day our daily bread”. I have always thought to myself that this line seems a bit out of place among the other things that Jesus says during this example on how to pray. And I have also always heard it explained to be an example of asking for our physical needs in prayer… but what occurred to me today was that maybe Jesus was not saying daily bread as to ask God for food, what if more importantly He was showing us to ask for Him daily? Almost immediately other verses started coming to mind such as: John 6:22-59 where in verse 33 Jesus says “For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world” or in verse 35 Jesus states “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” Also in John 4 that we went through in our Bible study last night where the disciples are insisting that Jesus eat something after talking to the Samaritan woman, then Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.” And yet again the verse that many know came to mind that says “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” What I forgot when that verse came to my mind, along with the section just before it about not being anxious about anything and how God provides for the birds of the air because of his common grace (which also made me think of where Jesus talks about God “make(ing) his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust”), is that this verse is just after Jesus teaches the disciples how to pray.
As all these thoughts and verses were flooding my mind, I thanked and praised my God who is so generous and loving. I right there and then asked Him to send me the bread of life daily, by filling me with His spirit daily, that I would walk in the power of the Holy Spirit as Jesus so perfectly did as an example for us.
What are your thoughts? Do you think asking for our daily bread is to ask for the physical sustenance that God seems to promise soon after to already be there for everyone without even asking? Or is it the spiritual bread that the Bible so often refers to as The Bread of life: Jesus Christ?