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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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More than just daily bread

Seven words of Lord's Prayer remarkably comprehensive

I often am in worship with people who speak a variety of languages. It is a moving Pentecost-like moment when the congregation responds to the invitation: "Let us each in our own language pray as Jesus taught us."

Words so familiar that they sometimes lose their meaning suddenly come to life. I begin to realize just how bold our petitions are — not only for what we pray but on whose behalf.

Think about these seven words: "Give us this day our daily bread." Trusting in God's generosity we pray with a confident hope that God will be faithful to God's promise to provide all that we need for our daily living.

Just seven simple, common words, but they are remarkably comprehensive. Martin Luther reminds us that Jesus directs us in this prayer to look to God not only for daily nourishment but also for everything else we need for our life — clothing, shelter, health, good neighbors, favorable and just conditions for work in labor and business, good and wise governance, public safety and peace, and protection from dangers and evil.


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