Lord’s Prayer notes #5: Give us this day our daily bread

Following are the rough teacher’s notes from week 5 of a recent eight-week adult Sunday School series on the Lord’s Prayer. See also week 1, week 2, week 3, week 4, week 6, week 7, and week 8.

Stepping back for a moment…

To address a couple of things from the previous week:

i. Postmillenialism: what is it?

We must believe all God’s promises, be encouraged by them
No other safe course!
If you do…might get called postmillenial.

What is postmillenialism?
The question: Will Jesus return to reign on earth…
Before the 1000 years spoken of in Revelation 20? (premillenial)
After the 1000 years spoken of in Revelation 20? (postmillenial)
– Not a literal reign on earth (amillenial)

The reason I brought up the term last week: men who believe in postmillenialism are optimistic about the future

Postmillenialism is…
“The belief that Scripture teaches the success of the great commission in this age of the church. The optimistic confidence that the world nations will become disciples of Christ, that the church will grow to fill the earth, and that Christianity will become the dominant principle rather than the exception to the rule…”

And when we take comfort from God’s promises we’ll be optimistic too – thus the similarity.

The point: When we pray “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”… we need to think, what would it look like for God to answer that prayer?
– Pray for it
– Expect it (like a child expects father to provide every good thing)

ii. Encouragement

As we’ve studied, we’ve been confronted with God’s holiness and our sin
“Hallowed be thy name”
– Apathy
– Grumbling
– Treachery
Apathy => Holy fear (don’t want to be worthless slave)
Grumbling => Thanksgiving (He’s working for our good)
Grumbling => Petition (violently)

“Thy kingdom come”
We want a little bit of God’s kingdom
We don’t want a king
We must desire that the nations be converted – we’re embarrassed

“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”
We don’t believe this is possible.
Encouragement: It’s not only possible, but it is happening
– God is working in His church
– Working here
– We are understanding our sin more
– Understanding His holiness more
– Repenting of our sins
– Growing in faith
“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”
God is answering the prayer of His people!

Be encouraged.

1. Review: where are we?

1.1. Halfway through Lord’s Prayer

  • First three petitions have been oriented toward God

“Such are the three first heads of the prayer, in presenting which we should have only the glory of God in view, taking no account of ourselves, and paying no respect to our own advantage.” (Calvin, Institutes 3.20.43)

  • This is how sons think.
  • “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”

1.2. Last three petitions are focused on our needs

– Bread, debts, temptation
– Remember: this comes after we have sought first…now God is adding unto us

2. “Give us this day our daily bread”

Think about:
– Bread

What is our bread?
(Food, clothing)
(Everything we need for life)

Why do we need to pray “Give us our bread”?
(We need it)
(We can’t provide it for ourselves)
(God is our provider)

If God is our provider, do we need to work? Why?
(Yes; it’s our duty; God gives the success)

“Our” bread?
By God’s free gift (we don’t deserve it, didn’t earn it)
We forfeited any right to it

One more aspect: “our daily bread”. What’s this mean?
(His provision is day by day)
(We must rely on Him each day)
(Never a time when we can quit relying on His provision)

  • This chafes!
  • “Ok, God, thanks, that was a rough passage, I can take it from here.”

The example of the Israelites: Exodus 16:13-30
What fools!
Can’t identify with people like that.
No: this is what we always do
We will never pray this petition honestly as long as…
– Rich: We believe we provide for ourselves (“give us this day” – “Whatever”)
– Poor: Don’t want daily bread–want to be rich…provide for ourselves!

3. Application

Need things
– Personally
– In our families
– In this church

What do we need?
(A space for our church to grow into)
(More spiritual maturity than we have, to take of those in our care)
(Healing for secret infirmities not many people know about)
(What else?)

Good news: God always provides for His people
Matthew 6:28,30 (Lilies of the field)
Matthew 7:7-11 (He will not give him a serpent, will he?)

These are couple of examples.
What else do we know about how God provides?
(Perfect timing)
(For our good)

And…He provides one day at a time.
We think this is random
He: vine
We: branches
We’re the absurd ones – branch takes sap and leaves the vine?!

“Give us this day our daily bread”
He will do it.

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