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  • Writer's pictureAllison Wilcox

The Fourth Petition

Traditional: Give us this day our daily bread.

Contemporary: Give us today our daily bread.

One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?” Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was a great deal of grass in the place, so they sat down, about five thousand in all. ~ John 6:8-10

What is meant by this Petition? Answer. God gives indeed without our prayer even to the wicked also their daily bread; but we pray in this petition that God would make us sensible of God's benefits, and enable us to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.

What is implied in the words: “Our daily bread”? Answer. All things that pertain to the wants and the support of this present life; such as food, clothing, money, goods, house and land, and other property; a believing spouse and good children; trustworthy servants and faithful magistrates; favorable seasons; peace and health; education and honor; true friends, good neighbors, and the like.

Has there ever been a time when you've been without what you need?

When you didn't have enough food or clothing or money, or a roof over your head? Or when you didn't have community or family to count on?

If you did, how was this prayer answered for you?

When we pray for our daily bread right after we ask for God's will to be done on earth as it is in heaven - and after we pray to be part of God's kingdom - then you might see a pattern emerging.

The answering of this prayer is often for us to be the ones providing the daily bread for others.

One of the things you will notice from this petition on, is that the prayer is prayed in the plural. Our, not my. Us, not me. We, not I.

So when I am praying this prayer I am praying it with you and with all of God's church. And I am praying not just that I am not without.

But that you are not without. That others are not without.

And if that it what I am praying for, then as God's partner, I become one of the answers for this prayer.

A Prayer by Martin Luther: Dearest God and Lord, strengthen and uphold us in your pure, precious Word through Jesus Christ our Lord, and help us to show and live our thanks with our fruits of faith to your praise and thanks forever. Amen.

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