Many of us know the blessing often prayed over meals:
God is great. God is good.
Let us thank Him for our food.
By His hand we all are fed.
Give us, Lord, our daily bread.
Jesus taught the disciples to pray “Give us today our daily bread.” (Matthew 6:11, NIV)
During the Exodus, the Lord provided manna each day for the Children of Israel to eat. He instructed them through Moses that “The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day.” (Exodus 16:4) If they tried to keep any of it for the next day, it grew maggots and began to stink—totally inedible.
Why are we instructed to seek our bread daily, one day at a time?
One reason, I believe, is to teach us to live in the day. When we train ourselves to look only for enough “bread” for the current day, it helps us focus on God’s provision for the day and to trust Him for that provision one day at a time. Jesus taught, “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:31-34)
Another reason might be to recognize and declare our total reliance on God. “As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he shows us his mercy.” (Psalm 123:2) We are totally dependent on God for everything, and part of praising Him is admitting that everything is His and everything we have comes from Him.
Proverbs suggests a third reason: “…give me only my daily bread. Otherwise I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal and so dishonor the name of my God.” (Proverbs 30:8-9)
Lord, help us to live in the day and trust you, one day at a time, for our needs.