Editor's note:

Trust­ing God ful­ly means learn­ing to ask for our bread, day by day. To those of us who live in a world of effi­cient farm­ing, indus­tri­al bak­eries, and super-sized gro­cery stores, ask­ing for our dai­ly bread may seem a quaint, too triv­ial peti­tion. Not so, says Richard Fos­ter in today’s post.

Jesus immers­es him­self in our dai­ly needs, and when he instruct­ed us to ask for our bread — just enough for the day — he was teach­ing us that noth­ing is beneath his notice, and not even our nour­ish­ment is pos­si­ble with­out his pro­vi­sion. So, we can rest assured that our 1,001 tri­fles” are each impor­tant to him.

What seems too small to both­er the Lord with today? Can we bold­ly take it to him anyway?

—Renovaré Team

Excerpt from Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home

If we were not so famil­iar with the Lord’s Prayer, we would be aston­ished at the peti­tion for dai­ly bread. If it had come from the lips of any oth­er than Jesus him­self, we would con­sid­er it an intru­sion of mate­ri­al­ism upon the refined realm of prayer. But here it is smack in the mid­dle of the great­est of prayers: Give us this day our dai­ly bread.” 

When we think about it for a moment, though, we real­ize that this prayer is com­plete­ly con­sis­tent with Jesus’ pat­tern of liv­ing, for he occu­pied him­self with the triv­i­al­i­ties of humankind. He pro­vid­ed wine for those who were cel­e­brat­ing, food for those who were hun­gry, rest for those who were weary (John 2:1 – 12; 6:1 – 14; Mark 6:31). He went out of his way to find the lit­tle peo­ple”: the poor, the sick, the pow­er­less. So it is ful­ly in order that he invites us to pray for dai­ly bread. 

In doing so Jesus has trans­fig­ured the triv­i­al­i­ties of every­day life. Try to imag­ine what our prayer expe­ri­ence would be like if he had for­bid­den us to ask for the lit­tle things. What if the only things we were allowed to talk about were the weighty mat­ters, the impor­tant things, the pro­found issues? We would be orphaned in the cos­mos, cold, and ter­ri­bly alone. But the oppo­site is true: he wel­comes us with our 1,001 tri­fles, for they are each impor­tant to him. 

We pray for dai­ly bread by tak­ing to God those tri­fles that make up the bulk of our days. Are we unable to find a babysit­ter to care for the chil­dren while we are at work? Well, then, we pray for dai­ly babysit­ters. Do we need a lit­tle space to think things out? Then we pray for dai­ly soli­tude and rest. Is it a warm sweater or gloves that we need because of the bit­ter cold? We ask for cloth­ing, day by day. Are we strug­gling with a rela­tion­ship at work or at home? We ask for patience and wis­dom and com­pas­sion — dai­ly, hourly. This is how we pray for dai­ly bread.

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Excerpt­ed from Prayer: Find­ing the Heart’s True Home by Richard J. Fos­ter (Harper­One, 1992), pp. 185 – 186, and used with permission.

Originally published December 1991