The Lord’s Prayer is the best and most powerful way for believers to stay intimately connected to our heavenly Father. Prayer gets God’s attention and brings faith, faith opens doors that lead to obedience, obedience brings determination and determination brings achievement.
In this prayer, for the first time, Jesus authorizes his disciples to call his Father, their Father. In the sequence of the prayer, Jesus tells the disciples to share their needs with their Father.
Why does Jesus include daily bread in the Lord’s Prayer? What does this mean to you and me? I see three dimensions to our daily bread—physical, social and spiritual—that provide a holistic approach to the gospel.
First is the physical dimension. Bread is an essential part of daily living. Daily bread keeps us healthy and strong and restores our energy. The human body’s well-being depends on good balanced nutrition. Our physical bodies are important. The Bible refers to the body as a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19-20).
Daily bread also has a social dimension. I have noticed in most gatherings, Christian or non-Christian, that food keeps the gathering going. The first miracle of our Lord Jesus—turning water into wine—happens at a gathering (John 2:1-11). Later, after a long day of teaching, Jesus asks his disciples to feed the crowd and another miracle happens with two fish and five loaves of bread (Luke 9:13).
Jesus rewards those who feed the hungry and take care of the materially poor (Matt. 25:35-40). What good is it when you see your brother or your sister in need and you tell them “God bless you,” without meeting their need? You see the need, you meet the need.
Then there is the spiritual dimension. After you have given God thanks and prayed for the kingdom, then you can ask for your personal needs and make your personal supplications. God is committed to providing for his children daily. It’s important to note that all requests before God must be backed up by his word. The word of God is our strong reason in prayer. When we remind him in our prayers of what his word says, he rises up and honors his word in our lives.
I intentionally put this dimension at the end to bring attention to the holistic approach of the gospel. After 40 days of fasting, Jesus says to Satan that humans do not live by bread alone, “but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). Here Jesus gives us the secret of how to stay connected to our heavenly Father—through his Word. The Bible has many promises. We must unveil them to keep the church, our families and nations connected to God.
You cannot give what you don’t have; you cannot teach what you do not know. Father, give us today our daily Word, we pray. The kingdom first and the rest will be given to us.
Henri Ngolo attends Christian Center Hand of God, a USMB church in Hamilton, Ohio. He served as the USMB Integrated Immigrant Ministry coordinator in 2023.