When Jesus was teaching His disciples to pray, He told them to say, “Give us this day our daily bread.” It’s important to see that Jesus didn’t instruct His followers to say, “Give us everything we’ll need forever.” Instead, He told them to request their daily bread. That means asking for enough for today. Jesus calls us to trust our heavenly Father to supply our needs for today, and then trust Him again tomorrow for tomorrow’s needs.
This simple prayer shows that a life of faith is one of ongoing, unending, daily dependence. Faith is not like a divine immunization shot ‒ one dose and you are covered for eternity. Faith is like food ‒ like daily bread ‒ that must be ingested regularly to nourish and sustain our life with God.
When we understand faith this way, it helps us recognize the sacredness of the present. The world tempts us with nostalgia for the past (a fixation on how good things used to be) or anxiety about the future (constant worry about what may or may not happen tomorrow). A life with God, however, cannot be lived in the past or in the future. It can only be experienced in the present. Today is the only place we may experience and trust God.
Recognizing the daily nature of faith provides an antidote to the worry and busyness that plagues so many of us. Has it ever occurred to you that Jesus never hurried? There is no record in the Gospels of Jesus rushing or worrying. He trusted that His Father would provide for Him each day, and He taught this kind of faith to His followers.
“You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things … But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:30-34, NAS)
When we live the kind of faith expressed in the Lord’s Prayer, we learn to let go of our rushing; we learn to release our fear of not having enough. Instead we are set free to slow down, trust our Father and discover that true life is not found in what we eat, or drink, or wear, or drive.
What an incredible challenge for us. In the wealthiest, busiest culture that has ever existed, Jesus comes asking, “Will you be content with enough for today? Will you slow down and trust God now? Will you release your worries and find true contentment in communion with God today?”
Reflect: Sometimes we can be overwhelmed by the needs in our world, and we feel incapable of giving everything needed. Practicing Whole-Life Generosity doesn’t mean giving enough to end another’s needs forever; sometimes it’s simply meeting a need for today. What is something you can do to help another right now? A kind word? A small gift? A helping hand? How can you be someone else’s daily bread from God?