Give Us Our Daily Bread, Part 4

Johann Georg Ferdinand Müller (1805 –98) was a man of extraordinary faith and exemplary prayer. He ran an orphanage in Bristol England and cared for 10,024 orphans in the span of his lifelong ministry. He established 117 schools offering Christian education to over 120,000 children.

Müller traveled over 200,000 miles by ship in his lifetime preaching the gospel in 42 countries. He lived for 93 years and in all that time, through all his ministry, George Müller famously refused to solicit for any money or provision, except by supplicating God directly. And yet neither he nor his dear orphans ever lacked for any of their essential needs.

One of the most well-known accounts of God’s timely provision was when Müller had run out of funds for his orphanage:


One morning, all the plates and cups and bowls on the table were empty. There was no food in the larder and no money to buy food. The children were standing, waiting for their morning meal, when Müller said, “Children, you know we must be in time for school.” Then lifting up his hands he prayed, “Dear Father, we thank Thee for what Thou art going to give us to eat.” 

There was a knock at the door. The baker stood there, and said, “Mr. Müller, I couldn’t sleep last night. Somehow I felt you didn’t have bread for breakfast, and the Lord wanted me to send you some. So I got up at 2 a.m. and baked some fresh bread, and have brought it.”

Mr. Müller thanked the baker, and no sooner had he left, when there was a second knock at the door. It was the milkman. He announced that his milk cart had broken down right in front of the orphanage, and he would like to give the children his cans of fresh milk so he could empty his wagon and repair it.

Do you think trust in God’s daily provision of food is an extraordinary expectation for Christians, or is it basic Christianity 101?

As we continue in our series on the Lord’s Prayer from Matthew 6 (see Our Father in heaven,  Hallowed be your name, and Your kingdom come) we come to the part where our magnifying lens hovers over a petition for our own physical needs. We see…

3 Ways To Glorify God By Asking For Our Needs To Be Met

Matthew 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread,


There is a tense moment in Charles Dickens’ novel, Oliver Twist, when the hungry orphan, Oliver, utters with great trepidation his poignant petition,

“Please, sir, I want some more.” His audacity earns him ejection from the orphanage and onto the streets.

Some Christians feel that prayer for material needs is audacious and unspiritual. Have you ever felt like you should only intercede on behalf of others? Or merely petition for your spiritual needs?

Jesus said, “Pray then like this… Give us this day our daily bread.”

Your Creator understands better than anyone that you have spiritual and physical needs.

Remember how he cared for Elijah during the drought in Israel? (1 Kings 17:3-8 and 19:5-6)

God understands that as a spirit encased in flesh, your spiritual needs are entwined with your physical needs.

Jesus evidenced sympathy for hungry humans…

Matt 15:32 Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.”

Our Creator designed us to need food and then, as our Father, he sustains us by providing the food we need…

Ps 34:10 The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

Starvation is real in parts of the world, but Christians are not statistics, we are children of God.

So, don’t be timid like Oliver Twist, ask confidently, knowing that God knows that you need and wants to provide.


The Greek phrase for “this day” means “according to the day”. God didn’t design us like camels, to go long distances without drinking, or bears that can hibernate for six months. God wants us to check in with him this day and every day.

This is why God programmed you to get a grumbling stomach, low blood sugar, a dry mouth, and the munchies …every day.

Don’t let the abundance in your fridge cause amnesia so that you forget that God is the one who gave it to you.

But what about when you want something that’s not really a need?

That takes us to our next point…


“Bread” in this prayer is a metonym—a figure of speech for when a part represents a larger whole. (Asking for someone’s “hand” in marriage is obviously asking for a whole lot more).

So here, “daily bread” represents all essential physical needs: food, medicine, clothing, transport, security, shelter. But, you may ask, what about other needs that maybe aren’t really “must haves”, but more like “nice to haves”? Your bond payment, school fees, petrol money, retirement fund, health insurance. These are needs in this day and age, but is God obligated to provide them?

Interestingly, the word daily isn’t in the Greek. It’s the word ἐπίοὐσίov, ἐπί meaning “around” or “about” and οὐσία meaning your “being”. This is where we get the English word essential. So, we are actually praying “give us this day our bread that sustains our essence, or our life.” Or more literally, “Give us this day our essential needs.”

So, pray for all your essential needs and learn to be content with little or much.

Phil 4:12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.

1 Tim 6:6-8 Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment,  for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.

Just like a baby who is born with nothing, but within a few minutes, he has a hat, a blanket, a meal, and the paperwork for citizenship.

All he needed to do was squeak.

So all we need to do is squeak.

We brought nothing with us, but God provided for us, as his children, when we cried out to him. So keep crying out. God will keep providing.

Why? Because of what Jesus did on the cross.


If you are not one of God’s children you have no promise of his provision for your needs – so turn to him in repentance, accept the death of Jesus on the cross in your place, and then ask confidently, constantly and contentedly.

from The Cripplegate


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