In Matthew 6, the Lord’s Prayer opens with an exclusive desire to bring honor and glory to God. We are taught to pray for His glory, His kingdom, and His will. In verse 11, however, we are taught to pray for ourselves. On the surface, this petition seems narrow and selfish, compared to the broad and unselfish attitude manifested in the first part of the prayer. Yet, even this request for personal needs is intensely spiritual in nature. Prayer is about adoration, devotion, and worship. It is also about asking, dependence, and needs. Let’s consider the simple sentence “Give us this day our daily bread.” As we do, we are going to learn that prayer is about requesting.


By coming to God to ask for the basic needs of life, we are entering into a time of profound worship. In reality, no higher form of worship exists than that for a child of God to enter into the presence of his or her heavenly Father and unashamedly declare, “I cannot make it without You! I am totally dependent upon You, Lord!”

A. We believe in God’s power. When we pray for God to meet our needs, we are proclaiming our faith in His power to do just that. We are telling our Father that we believe He is able to take care of us. This is the Bible’s testimony concerning our God (Job 42:2; Luke 1:37; Eph. 3:20).

B. We believe in God’s promises. When we pray this simple prayer, we are confessing our faith in the promises God has made to His children. The Bible is very clear when it tells us that the Lord will take care of His own (Ps. 37:25; Phil. 4:19; Matt. 6:25-34).

C. We believe in God’s personality. When we ask God for the daily needs of life, we are not trying to twist His arm to get Him to give us things He does not want us to have. We are not trying to overcome His reluctance to meet our needs. We are merely laying hold on His provision. We are humbly acknowledging His willingness to give. Nothing honors God more than His children coming to Him in childlike faith, asking Him for what they need and believing that He loves them and that He is a generous God.

God is not a miser who must be persuaded to meet our needs. He is our Father, and He delights in giving us the good things of life (Luke 12:32).


Not only does this prayer honor the Lord by worshiping Him as the great Giver, it also expresses the total dependence of God’s children upon their heavenly Father. Notice what this prayer says about us and our relationship to the heavenly Father.

A. It is a prayer of confession. This simple statement says, “I can’t meet my own needs, but You can.” When we pray this prayer, we are confessing our own weaknesses and limitations and confessing that we believe God is able where we are not. When we pray this prayer, we are not resting in our own ability to work and provide food for our tables.

B. It is a prayer of confidence. The idea of this simple prayer is this: “Give us day by day the things that are necessary for life.” This is not a request for God to meet needs that have not yet arisen; it is an expression of faith in God that says, “I believe You will take care of me one day at a time” (read Matt. 6:34).

C. It is a prayer of contentment. This simple prayer says, “I am willing to accept the things You will send into my life today.” We may not always like the bread God sends our way, but we can trust Him to send us exactly what we need day by day. So, if we are called upon to eat the bread of sorrow and affliction, He knows best. If we are allowed to feast on angel’s food and heavenly manna, that is also His choice for us. Our duty is to trust Him to do in our lives exactly what needs to be done every day (Rom. 8:28).

The practice of contentment is one of the greatest challenges believers face. Yet, it is what God expects from us (1 Tim. 6:6-8; Heb. 13:5, 6; Phil. 4:10-13).


On the surface, this request—“Give us this day our daily bread”—is a simple, straightforward request, and yet, when you think about it, this prayer is very large in its scope.

A. It is a communal prayer. Notice the words “us” and “our.” This is not a prayer that can be prayed selfishly. It is not just about getting “my” needs met; it is about praying for the needs of the family of God. We are challenged and commanded to have the best interests of our brothers and sisters at heart as we pass through this life and as we pray (Phil. 2:4; Gal. 6:2; 1 Cor. 10:24).

We are to pray for one another; for preachers, teachers, missionaries, single mothers, struggling teenagers, families that are suffering, and those who are sick; and for every conceivable need in the lives of others.

B. It is a comprehensive prayer. One commentator said this phrase could be expressed in this way: “Give us this day the things sufficient for our subsistence.” This is more than a prayer for food on our plates; this is a humble request for God to provide everything we need to make it through each day. If we could ever get to the place where we truly trust Him for all we need, day by day, worry would no longer be a part of our lives. We would be in a place of contentment and peace, knowing that our heavenly Father is in perfect control of all the situations in our lives (Phil. 4:6, 7).

It is not wrong to pray for our needs. Some people will not pray for themselves, believing it to be selfish and not spiritual. Jesus clearly commands us to pray for the necessities of life; therefore, let us not be ashamed to bring every need and every matter to Him, knowing that He will hear us, sustain us, and supply us as we move through this world (Heb. 4:14, 15).

May the Lord help His people realize that we are to ask, and if we will ask, we will receive (Matt. 7:7-11; James 4:2). God is not a tight-fisted, mean-spirited, heartless dictator who delights in watching His children struggle. He is a gracious, loving heavenly Father who delights in giving His best gifts to those who know Him!


I encourage you to come to the Father and tell Him about the needs in your life. Never be afraid, never be ashamed, and never limit your praying to “important” matters. Come to Him and call on His Name, believing that He cares, that He hears, and that He will answer you for His glory!

General Conference Ministerial Association