Give Us This Day
by Ria Hefti
13 October 2020« Previous Day | Next Day »
During the first Covid-19 lockdown, my husband and I found ourselves locked down in Scotland. Although the three and a half months we were there were ultimately a time of great blessing, there were moments of frustration of not being able to get back home and no real prospect on when or how that would take place. During this time, God placed in my heart the story of the Israelites as they wandered in the wilderness. Each morning He gave them what they needed for that day’s nourishment in the form of manna. In Exodus 16 we can read how God instructed His children to gather the manna each morning. He goes on to tell them not to try to save any for the next day, except on the sixth day, when they were to gather a double portion, so they had enough for the Sabbath. Those who sought to save ‘leftovers’ for the next day found it was no longer edible.
Deuteronomy 8:2-3 sums it up like this: ‘And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD’.
The more I ponder on the simple prayer, ‘Give us today our daily bread’, the more I realise that it isn’t just about having my needs met, but it is about trusting God to meet those needs. It is not just my physical needs, such as food and shelter, but my innermost needs of feeling safe, secure, loved and accepted. When Jesus was in the wilderness, hungry and thirsty, Satan tempted him to turn stones into bread (Matthew 4). Jesus responded to Satan by quoting Deuteronomy 8:3, ‘man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD’.
We live in increasingly unstable and uncertain days. It is almost impossible to plan for future events, and the fear and insecurities of that are unsettling. It is in times like this that we become totally dependent on our Lord to give us the bread or manna that we need for today.
Below I share one of the most precious (and effective) prayers I have learned over the years, whether for myself or for others. To pray such a prayer means to lay down all expectations of how I think God should meet my need so I can be open to see how God will meet that need. It’s about examining my heart attitude and motivation and then submitting to God’s ways. I’ll let you in a secret. It is almost never in a way we would expect and often in very normal, ‘unspiritual’ ways.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, You know the needs of my heart today even better than I do. Please Father, would You meet that need in me today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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