Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
“Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”
What we call today “The Lord’s Prayer” is found in these two places in the Scriptures. The next couple of devotions are based on a section of the book Listening to the Language of the Bible: Hearing it Through Jesus’ Ears, by Lois Tverberg with Bruce Okkema.
The previous devotions in this series are:
Part 1 – Hymnody
Part 2 – Invocation
Part 3 – Baptism
Part 4 – Confession of Sins
Part 5 – Absolution
Part 6 – Introit / Psalmody
Part 7 – Kyrie
Part 8 – Hymn of Praise
Part 9 – Scripture Readings
Part 10 – Sermon
Part 11 – Confession of Faith
Part 12 – Offering
Part 13 – Offertory
Part 14 – Prayer
Part 15 – “Our Father”
Part 16 – “Hallowed Be Thy Name”
Part 17 – “Thy Kingdom Come”
The Hebrews/Aramaic phrase lechem hukenu is not only used in Matthew and Luke but also in Proverbs 30:8-9 and it is that instance that Jesus perhaps has in mind when teaching us to pray in this way.
The prayer in Proverbs 30 is for God to provide not too much and not too little.
It is understood that too much may tempt us to forget God and our reliance on Him. Too little may do the same by making us try to fend for ourselves and thus get us into trouble because we are tempted to steal what we need.
“Enough bread for today” is the at the heart of Jesus’ words lechem hukenu. You may be reminded of the provision of manna in the wilderness. If the people gathered more than they needed, the manna spoiled.
However, we may indeed be blessed with an abundance of daily bread so that we may serve others and thus fulfill the Law “love your neighbor as yourself.” We will have to be careful to overcome the temptation to forget God, as the passage from Proverbs warns. So think about the previous petition about God’s Kingdom.
We can see the abundance that God gives us as His answer to someone else’s prayer for daily bread. As we share it with them, we can tell them about Jesus and thus extend God’s Kingdom!