What exactly was the message Jesus was teaching us in the Lord’s prayer? How must we feast on the bread of life?
“This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today 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 the evil one.
This isn’t asking God to give us food. He already knows our needs:
Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
So what then are we praying for when we ask for Him to give us our daily bread?
Just prior to this infamous prayer, Jesus speaks of giving to those in need.
“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret.
After Jesus had finished speaking with the Samaritan woman at the well, His disciples came and urged Him to eat. Jesus replied:
But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?” “My food,” said Jesus, “is to ***do the will of him who sent me*** and to finish his work.
In Isaiah, God speaks of the purpose of fasting physical food.
Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for people to humble themselves? Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying in sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord? “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lordwill answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
God doesn’t ask us to give up food because it will make us humble, or to spend it reflecting on Him, this is how we should act every day. But God’s idea of a fast is going without food at times when there is a greater need of giving our food to the hungry, or as Jesus did with the Samaritan woman, go without food for the body when we need to stop and give someone else spiritual food.
The widow in Zarephath fed Elijah, even though it was the last meal she would have for her and her son (1 Kings 17). This is the type of fast God desires.
John 6:26-27, 35
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”…
…Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
Desire the food that gives life and God will take care of the rest.