Today we continue our sermon series in Luke 11 on the subject of Prayer. We have learned that prayer is communication with God and that it is an act of worship in which a person communicates with God the Father, through the access provided by God the Son, and by the prompting of God the Spirit.
In response to one of His disciples asking to be taught how to pray, Jesus replied:
When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.” (Luke 11:2-4)
As we learned two weeks ago, praying for God’s name to be hallowed means that you acknowledge God as a caring Father and you desire that His name receive the praise and honor it deserves.
As we learned last week, praying for God’s kingdom to come means that you submit to His kingdom and anticipate it’s complete fulfillment.
In the next section of Jesus’ prayer, He tells His disciples to pray “Give us each day our daily bread”. By doing this, He teaches them about Prayers of Dependence and the need to depend on Him daily to meet ones needs. Let’s take a closer look at this prayer.
Give Us (Depend on Him)
When Jesus tells His followers to pray “Give us each day our daily bread”, He is not telling them to selfishly demand anything, but rather calling them to a life of radical dependence. In 1 Corinthians 4:7 Paul writes: “What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?”
Acknowledge your dependence
Jesus calls us to acknowledge our dependence on God because everything we have has been received from Him. For example, did you create yourself? Did you determine where you would be born? Did you determine who your parents were and who would and would not be your siblings? The obvious answer is “No”. But one may object, “I agree that I had no control over those things but I have made myself who I am today.” The Biblical answer
(as we saw in 1 Cor 4:7) is that while you played a very important role in your life, ultimately it was God who gave you all you have.
Embrace your dependence
Jesus not only calls us to acknowledge our dependence on God but to embrace our dependence on Him because that brings peace, joy and freedom. We saw last week that submitting to God brings freedom and likewise embracing your dependence on God brings freedom. Embracing your dependence on God and loving Him allows you to always have a reason to rejoice because the Lord is the source of your joy. Philippians 4:4 says “rejoice in the Lord always.”
Depending on God allows you the freedom to “not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:6-7). These promises are only for those who embrace their dependence on God and know that everything they have and everything they need comes from God.
Each Day (Daily)
When we embrace our dependence on God we become aware that He watches over us, is aware of us, and He wants us to come to Him each day. Just as a good and faithful father cares enough about his children to help them, provide for them, and love them every day; God, our Father, wants to provide for us every day. God doesn’t want weekly check-ins, He doesn’t want quarterly reports, but He wants us to trust and depend on Him every day.
Our Daily Bread (Our Daily Needs)
Jesus tells his followers to pray that the Father would give them each day their daily bread. What is daily bread? In a literal sense, it is bread that will satisfy for one day. Metaphorically, it speaks of God’s design for meeting our basic needs day by day. Jesus does not tell us to come to God at the first of the month to receive our monthly bread, but tells us to come each day for our daily bread. This highlights an important point: God gives us each day our daily bread to remind us to live in the present. God does not want us to live in the past and pine for the “good ole’ days” nor does He wants us to live in the uncertain dreams (or nightmares!) of the future. The past is over and gone and the future is not yet.
Jesus tells us to live today and come to God for today’s needs, today’s grace, today’s joy, and today’s peace. The thoughts of “if only I had” and “what if” must be exchanged in prayer with “Give me each day my daily bread”.
Jesus, in response to being asked how to pray, graciously tells His disciples to pray “Give us each day our daily bread”. Jesus wants His followers to daily acknowledge and embrace their need to depend on God to meet each day’s needs.
If your life does not demonstrate a daily dependence on God’s grace, come to Jesus in repentance and faith. He always hears the prayer of faith and delights in answering it. Trust Him daily.
If your life does demonstrate a daily dependence on God’s grace, continue on in faith and “be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
Questions for Reflection
- What is prayer?
- Who do we ask for daily bread?
- What is daily bread?
- How often do we ask for daily bread?
- Why are we instructed to ask daily for daily bread?