LENTEN STUDY 5
Give us today our daily bread,
For we are poor and needy,
And we depend on You.
Father, provide our food and water,
Our clothing and shelter.
Day by day, our eyes look to You.
Bible passages for study: Psalm 145:8-21; John 6:1-12
8 The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.
9 The Lord is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.
10 All your works praise you, Lord;
your faithful people extol you.
11 They tell of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might,
12 so that all people may know of your mighty acts
and the glorious splendour of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises
and faithful in all he does.
14 The Lord upholds all who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food at the proper time.
16 You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and faithful in all he does.
18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cry and saves them.
20 The Lord watches over all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.
21 My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord.
Let every creature praise his holy name
for ever and ever.
1 Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias),
2 and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick.
3 Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples.
4 The Jewish Passover Festival was near.
5 When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?”
6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
7 Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up,
9 “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there).
11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.”
1. After appealing to God’s holiness, his rule and his will, the Lord’s Prayer moves to the practical needs of the one who is praying. In this petition the focus is on basic human need.
2. This petition recognizes our total dependence on God our Father for all our needs, beginning with the most basic ones of food, water, shelter and clothing. Again there is an echo here of what God provided the first couple Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. They had all their needs met. The Fall sent them out to meet their own needs through toil and hard labour. Jesus is affirming in his prayer that we can turn to God for our basic daily needs.
3. We turn to God by acknowledging that we are poor and needy. Our security is not in ourselves, our health, our strength or even our hard work. Our security is in God himself. Without him in our lives, poverty and sickness will always affect us. In this prayer we are admitting our dependence on God for our daily needs. The Psalms affirm that God’s children can turn their eyes on God, look up to him as God the Provider, Jehovah Jireh, to his children, the members of his household.
4. Jesus told the disciples that human beings should not live by bread alone. He described himself as the bread and water of life. The food and drink he provides, Jesus said, will bring eternal satisfaction. Those who receive his food and water will never hunger and thirst again. But Jesus was also quick to respond to the food needs of the thousands who came to listen to him and feed on his words. The feeding of the multitudes in John’s Gospel (chapter 6) clearly affirms that our daily needs are also God’s concern.
5. Jesus challenged the disciples to meet the food needs of the multitudes by drawing on their own resources. This became part of the early Church’s practice as the first disciples also recognized that providing basic needs of people was a part of God’s plan.
Questions for reflection:
1. Which promises and actions of God found in the Bible help us understand how God provides for us and gives us security in our life?
2. What does the Bible teach us about the role of prayer in asking God to meet our needs?