Give us today our daily bread

“Seven days without prayer makes one weak”

We are learning to pray from Jesus Himself in the words of the Lord’s Prayer. We begin by remembering who we are praying to
Our Father in heaven, Almighty, Eternal, Holy, Loving, Transcendent
Hallowed be your name – may God be glorified and honoured by everyone everywhere.
Your Kingdom come, Amen, Come Lord Jesus,
Your will be done on earth as in heaven. Show your power O Lord. Your will be done – starting in my life!
So our prayers have begun by focussing on God and His glory. Now we come to two requests for our own needs.

A daily prayer – in Jesus’s time in middle east with no fridges bread would only last for one day, they needed to bake fresh bread every day. So quite rightly they needed to ask God for their bread for that day.
People living in Jesus’s time, as people living in the Third World today, recognise that the whole of Creation is completely dependent on God for all the necessities of life.
PSALM 104 10 He makes springs pour water into the ravines; it flows between the mountains.
11 They give water to all the beasts of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12 The birds of the air nest by the waters; they sing among the branches.
13 He waters the mountains from his upper chambers; the earth is satisfied by the fruit of his work.
14 He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate—
bringing forth food from the earth:
15 wine that gladdens the heart of man, oil to make his face shine, and bread that sustains his heart.
16 The trees of the LORD are well watered, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17 There the birds make their nests; the stork has its home in the pine trees.
18 The high mountains belong to the wild goats; the crags are a refuge for the coneys.
19 The moon marks off the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down.
20 You bring darkness, it becomes night, and all the beasts of the forest prowl.
21 The lions roar for their prey and seek their food from God.
22 The sun rises, and they steal away; they return and lie down in their dens.
23 Then man goes out to his work, to his labor until evening.
24 How many are your works, O LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. …
27 These all look to you to give them their food at the proper time.
28 When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things.

FOOD – we can so easily take our food for granted. That’s why it’s good to say grace before our meals – in passing a meal is technically defined as anything more than a Mars bar. That’s one reason why it’s good to give something up for Lent: I’ve given up chocolate again.
WATER – again we take a free supply of fresh water for granted, never being thirsty, working bathrooms, etc. Floods and homes destroyed remind us just how fragile our lives are.
HOME, SHELTER, warm in winter, dry in rains, safe from predators
TRAVELLING – every journey in Uganda began with a prayer for travelling mercies and ended with thanksgiving for a safe arrival, because for so many people so many journeys are hazardous, if not impossible.
COMMUNICATIONS – first radio and landline telephones, then TV and video, mobiles, text messages, Skype, Facebook, Twitter and social media.
POSSESSIONS – luxuries and necessities

Especially living in a society where we regard as necessities things which so many people in the world would view as luxuries, if they had access to them at all, it is very important that we don’t take all these different kinds of blessings for granted but receive them with gratitude. Asking every day for our daily bread reminds us of our complete dependence on God, day by day and into the future.
Colossians 3 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

It is so easy to take God’s grace for granted

We should receive God’s grace and forgiveness with gratitude
I GET SO EXCITED, LORD, Every time I realise I’m forgiven, I’m forgiven.
Jesus, Lord, You’ve done it all, You’ve paid the price: I’m forgiven, I’m forgiven.
Hallelujah, Lord, My heart just fills with praise;
My feet start dancing, my hands rise up, And my lips they bless Your name.
I’m forgiven, I’m forgiven, I’m forgiven. I’m forgiven, I’m forgiven, I’m forgiven.
Living in Your presence, Lord, Is life itself: I’m forgiven, I’m forgiven.
With the past behind, grace for today And a hope to come, I’m forgiven, I’m forgiven.

Saying sorry
It is good to cleanse our consciences and make sure that nothing gets in the way of our relationship with God
1 John 1 5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.
Prayers of repentance DAILY, not just once a month at communion.
ALMIGHTY and most merciful Father; we have erred, and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; and we have done those things which we ought not to have done; and there is no health in us. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare thou them, O God, who confess their faults. Restore thou those who are penitent; According to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake; That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, To the glory of thy holy Name. Amen. 1549 Book of Common Prayer
Reminding us of our own failings and sinfulness
Daily repentance is God’s way for us to grow in grace and holiness and become more like Jesus.
Seeking God’s grace to live a new life
James 4:6 “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Does our forgiveness depend on us forgiving other people? NO! But then again, YES!
No part of God’s free gift of salvation can ever be earned or deserved. It is always simply God’s grace, purchased for us by Christ dying in our place on the cross. But what the Lord’s Prayer reminds us is that the proper response we should make to God’s grace is to forgive other people unconditionally, just as God has forgiven us. Remember Jesus’s parable of the unforgiving servant in Matthew 21
21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
26 “The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.
29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’
30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.
32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”

This is one of the most challenging parables Jesus told. What He is teaching us here is that if we have truly understood and received God’s forgiveness then we WILL forgive others. If we are NOT willing to forgive others, that may be a sign that we have not received God’s forgiveness ourselves.
God’s love for us comes first. We don’t earn or deserve that love by forgiving others. But when we have received God’s love and forgiveness then we love and forgive others, and that is proof to God and to the world that we are indeed forgiven. The apostle John spells this out in many places in his first letter.
1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 15 Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.
16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

1 John 4 7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

1 John 4 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.
Forgiving other people as God in Christ has forgiven us. I know it is not that easy! But when a person says, “I can’t forgive,” that usually means “I won’t forgive.” That is why when we are finding it difficult to forgive somebody for something we need to pray even more, “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” We are asking God’s help to show his kind of forgiveness, from the heart!
So we bring our grievances and our hurts and our anger to God in prayer, telling Him how we really feel. And as we receive God’s love and healing, so He gives us the grace to forgive other people.
Two requests for the essentials we all need. Daily bread and forgiveness. Our physical needs and our spiritual needs. Recognising that all good things come from God our Heavenly Father and that we all ought to be duly grateful. We depend on God from day to day for everything. So we pray
“Give us today our daily bread, and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.”

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