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Give Us Our Daily Bread

This is the fourth blog in the series on The Lord’s Prayer. The previous blog are Rediscovering the Power of The Lord’s Prayer, Our Father in Heaven, May Your Name Be Sanctified and May your Kingdom come Your Will Be Done. Now we will continue to the fourth line of the prayer:

Give us our daily bread.

Comments and Cultural Insights

1. In ancient Hebrew, the word for “bread” (lechem) actually signified one’s “basic food substance.”

2. To farmers lechem meant the grain that was made into bread, to shepherds it was “meat,” and to fishermen it meant “fish.”

3. People of that time period understood in a very real and tangible way that their survival depended on God sending the rains and providing good weather for the crops to grow and be harvested.

4. They understood their roles in the process – from preparing the land to getting food to the poorest members of society.

5. There little doubt that Jews around the world prayed words very similar to this every day – and still do in their prayers.8

Making the words of The Lord’s Prayer a Reality in Our Lives

1. In the gospels it says that Jesus “took the bread and blessed.” Some translations incorrectly add the word “it,” to sound as if Jesus “blessed the bread.” In the Jewish culture, people bless God for providing the food, while Christians usually “bless the food.” “Blessing God” means “thanking God” for providing the food. Saying a blessing before eating a meal has been a ritual in Judaism from before the time us Jesus until now.

2. This blessing is one of the most common Jewish blessing said before eating a meal today:

Barukh ata Adoinai Eloheinu melekh ha’olam
Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe,

hamotzi lehem min ha’aretz.
who brings forth bread from the earth.

3. For most of human history, eating together with family members and others was the norm. Today it is completely unknown in many homes. Simply introducing the simple ritual of family members gathering together around a table to share a meal provides families with many benefits, such as these:

A. Building Closer Relationships: Mealtimes can be the most common time children communicate with parents. Turning off the TV allows the family to connect and make memories together by asking children about their day, school, friends, goals and more. 

B. More Nutritious: Meals eaten at home tend to be healthier than meals eaten out. 

C. Develop Social Skills: By eating together as a family, children are given an opportunity to develop and improve their social and conversation skills, as well as their table manners. Talking about planning an activity like a family vacation, can allow children to become more social and improve linguistic development.

D. Develop Listening Skills: Many parents today are good at “bossing” their children, but very weak in “hearing” what their children are trying to say to them. The more confident your child becomes in sharing thoughts with you, the stronger your relationships become.

E. Stability: Eating with your children can give them a stronger sense of stability and security.1

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