“Give us day by day our daily bread” (Luke 11:3).
Daily means occurring every day. The Israelite’s day lasted from one sunset to the next (Gen 1:5; Ex 12:18; Acts 2:14-15; Mat 20:1-6). When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Mat 6:11; Luke 11:3), He was telling them to trust God to provide their food every day-one day at a time.
We are to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread;” that is, “Give us each day the bread which our bodies require, as we pray for it.” We are to depend upon our Heavenly Father in the same way the Israelites depended upon Him for their manna (Exodus 16:27-33). We might pray, “Let us have enough bread today,” because in this way we continually depend upon Him, as children upon their parents.
The Lord wants His children to trust Him and depend upon Him, and He often has given only a portion of “bread” at a time. In Mat 10:5; 9-15, Jesus first sent the apostles out two by two to preach to the Jews (not the Gentiles or Samaritans). See also: Mark 6:8-11; Luke 10:4. At that time He told them not to take anything for their journey other than a staff. Later we see in Mat 6:11; Luke 11:3, He told them to pray for their daily bread. They were dependent on God as much as the birds, for they did not know who would receive them and who would not.
Later, the Lord asked them if they lacked anything when He sent them out without a wallet, and they acknowledged that He had cared for them (Luke 22:35). Obviously they did not lack because they had prayed and had faith in His promise to provide. Finally, when it was time for Jesus to be crucified, He gave his disciples yet another commission (Mark 16:15; Mat 28:19-20) and told them to provide for their journey and also to purchase a sword (Luke 22:36). These were not conflicting directions but directions for different purposes and different situations.
There is another sense in which we need to request our daily bread. We may have an abundance of food and every other convenience, but if we don’t have the health and strength to make use of it, of what value is it? (Eccl 6:1-2) A few verses prior to this passage (Eccl 5:18-19) He spoke of the blessing of God-not just the food in the pantry, but the ability to eat it.
Today, when our pantries and cabinets are so full of food and most of us are so healthy, it is difficult for us to see God’s hand in providing our needs (Mat 6:34). We must trust His promise to provide if the seek the kingdom first (Mat 6:33) and not be anxious for tomorrow (Mat 6:25: Luke 12:22, 29). We must not desire to be rich (1 Tim 6:10), nor should we be slothful in business (Rom 12:11; Pro 30:8) but we should always pray the Lord will provide what we need to live to serve Him (John 6:27-33).