Give us today our daily bread.
These are the words Christ instructs us to pray.
There, right after praying about God’s hallowed name and the coming of His Kingdom, He teaches us to ask for bread. Daily bread.
Oh, there are those who will over-spiritualize this. Who will look for the deeper meaning. Christ does refer to Himself as the bread of life, after all, and there’s the bread in the eucharist. Perhaps we should be staying in the spiritual realm and not venture away from those things concerned only with the inner soul.
The thing is though, we serve a God who is concerned with our whole being. The inner soul may be where He asks to set His throne, but His rule goes far beyond – into all the corners of our lives. All the way to bread and grocery lists.
That word daily – epiousios – unique to this passage in the New Testament. Nowhere else had it been used, not in the Bible nor in contemporary writings. And then scribbled on some papyrus a woman writes this word on her grocery list. And we realize just awesomely tender the Lord we serve is.
Because in the prayer He sets before us as a standard, He inserts a word appropriate for grocery lists. Epiousios. Daily. The basic needs for the day at hand. This is what we are to bring before our heavenly Father. The same one who placed the stars and filled the oceans. He is interested in our grocery list.
Awesomely tender, don’t you agree?
If our God cares for us enough to instruct us to ask Him for our daily bread, then that means He also cares about our monthly rent check. If He is interested in our prayers for our day-to-day needs, then He wants us to come with Him about lost keys, head aches, household chores, hurt feelings, and just to chat about the day’s happenings. God is interested in our whole lives. He wants to be part of them wholly.
If God instructs us to pray for our daily bread, then He is a God of the ordinary.
Sure, He hangs out the sun and the moon and He shapes the mountains. He heals cripples and makes blind men see. He is a master of the extraordinary.
But never does He limit Himself to what is considered extraordinary. And neither should we. Because of His awesome tenderness we can approach Him with the entirety of our lives and days laid out for Him to see. No more boxes labeled “deep spiritual stuff” that we are to talk about in prayer. We can open up the boxes with “ordinary other stuff” written across it. We can come before His throne with our day-to-day lives stretched out before us. And we can know He cares.
Come to me, He says. Let’s look at your grocery list and your bills to be paid, and that small feeling in the corner of your heart that you thought too insignificant to bring up. Come to me, ask me for your daily bread. I’m longing to give you all good things.