8 Remove far from me falsehood and lies. Give me neither poverty nor riches. Feed me with the food that is needful for me; 9 lest I be full, deny you, and say, ‘Who is Yahweh?’ or lest I be poor, and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.
Proverbs 30:8-9 (WEB)
These two verses from Proverbs give us wonderful insight into our need for contentment and Jesus’ purpose behind praying for “our daily bread”. First, we see that contentment is important because it helps us to remember God in all things. When we become rich, we can easily be tempted to ask why we even need God’s help any more. We have our money – why do we need God?
But it’s also equally interesting that we should be praying to have the food that is needful – just enough. If we are poor, we’ll be tempted to steal and that would dishonor God’s name. It would be a sin that would grieve Him. So we see that it’s not outside of God’s will for us to pray for our needs to be met.
Jesus makes this point in His example for prayer:
7 In praying, don’t use vain repetitions, as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their much speaking. 8 Therefore don’t be like them, for your Father knows what things you need, before you ask him. 9 Pray like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. 10 Let your Kingdom come. Let your will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 Forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors. 13 Bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen.’
Matthew 6:7-13 (WEB)
Jesus teaches us that it’s important to remember God knows our needs before we even ask Him. But it is still appropriate for us to pray for our daily bread – the things we need to get through each day. Again, showing that we are seeking contentment and not personal, worldly riches. We are praying for just enough – not for things that far exceed our needs. But we’re also praying that our needs will be met so we won’t be tempted to steal and thus sin.
This idea of daily bread also ties into the Israelites’ journey through the wilderness where God provided them with manna. The Israelites could only collect enough manna to feed themselves for one day. Anything extra would rot. They were in complete dependence upon God’s provision. That’s what we’re praying for when we ask God for our daily bread. We’re saying, “God, I need your provision. I know I can’t do this on my own, but I know you can meet my needs.”
So the next time you’re praying, remember to praise God and thank Him for the blessings He’s provided. But don’t hesitate to ask Him to continue to meet your needs. Ask Him for your daily bread – for just enough. Don’t be lead away by the deceitfulness of riches and begin praying for wealth. Ask God to give you what you need so you can serve Him faithfully, according to His will. God will answer such a prayer given with the right motives.