“…on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread…” Matthew 6:10-11
After praying that the kingdom of God would come and that God’s will would be done, Jesus moves on to address provision.
Give Us Our Daily Bread
While technically a request, I believe this part of the prayer actually provides us with a reminder that we are dependent. It also delivers the message that he is a giving God, a providing God. He is Jehovah-Jireh, the God who provides. Jesus reminds us that we turn to God for any need for provision.
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31
Provision is necessary for our physical, emotional, and spiritual needs—to name a few. I have found that he provides bountifully. In grief, he has given sufficient grace and new mercies every morning. He’s given surpassing peace and lavish love. And he’s comforted me. On time. As needed. Bountifully.
He is Jehovah-Jireh.
This request for daily provision is also intended to keep us daily connected to him. Dependent. Like manna of old. Beware of any tendency toward self-sufficiency.
“Give us this day our daily bread.” Matthew 6:11
Forgive Us as we Forgive Others
This next part of The Lord’s Prayer is pure brilliance. Jesus teaches his disciples to ask for forgiveness, but he ties the very forgiveness they seek to the way they forgive others. In Matthew 18, Jesus told the parable of the unforgiving servant in response to a question posed by Peter. He wanted to know how many times he should forgive his brother when he sinned against him multiple times.
Jesus doesn’t mince words.
After saying he should forgive not seven times but seven times seventy, he shares the parable of the unforgiving servant. If you struggle with forgiveness, read Matthew 18:23-35. It will revolutionize your giving and receiving of forgiveness.
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
We should be forgivers because we’ve been forgiven. Forgiven people forgive others freely. At least this is what you’d expect of those who’ve been forgiven. We are to forgive one another in the same way God in Christ forgave us. Some of us need to read this paragraph again. Life is too short to ignore the lesson from this part of The Lord’s Prayer. The phrase “as we also” is too easily overlooked. If you justify any level of withholding forgiveness or any level of holding grudges, you need to think about this simple lesson. Jesus teaches us to seek forgiveness in the same way we forgive others.
The instruction delivered in this prayer really does provide a healthy prayer guide, and it is a balm in a time of need. Grief brings anger and impacts relationships. Forgive in humility. As Dane Ortlund says in Gentle and Lowly, “…release your debtor and breathe again.”
Forgive quickly. Forgive often. Forgive freely. As Christ has forgiven you. Or to quote Jesus, “…forgive us…as we also have forgiven…”
“…forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Matthew 6:12