The Lord’s Prayer Our Daily Bread…

The Lord’s Prayer Our Daily Bread…

Sep 26, 2017


Seventh in a series by Assistant Pastor Philip Lawton at the Seventh Day Baptist Church of Shiloh, NJ. Check out Phil’s blog at

It has been a long summer. I was away from home for most of the summer. I spent a lot of that time thinking about how little we really trust God with everything. How we often think that we can do things ourselves. If the events in Texas, Louisiana, and Florida show us anything, it is that we really don’t have control over much. Building a flood-proof house doesn’t stop the flood, it just makes you feel safe right up to the point that it fails. Our rock in storms shouldn’t be the work of our own hands — it should be Jesus Christ the Son of God.

As I said before, I spent most of the summer away from home. For most people this would not be a major problem. You pack up your clothes and what you need, and you travel to where you are going. If you forget something then you head to the nearest Walmart and you buy what you need. The problem is that I am not most people. I have sleep apnea. I was diagnosed with sleep apnea a year and a half ago. I could go into why I should have been tested long before then. But let’s just say that I should have listened to my mother and that I am thankful for friends who are not afraid to confront me.

Living with sleep apnea is not really that much of a problem when you have a CPAP. I absolutely LOVE my CPAP. I didn’t really understand how bad I was sleeping until I got one. My wife has a great story about my sleep study and me being wide awake at 5 a.m. The point I am making is that with my CPAP I sleep better and no one has to worry that I won’t wake up. Which is great! When everything works.

Faith Till Morning

This summer I traveled back to the camp that I went to growing up: Camp Harley Sutton. The five-hour car trip wasn’t too bad. I was at camp for SCSC training as a Project Director. I did the same thing last year. However, at that point I did not have a CPAP. Things went pretty smoothly until I decided to go to bed that night and discovered that I was missing a part that made my CPAP work properly. Now, normally I set up my CPAP as soon as I get to a place. For whatever reason, this time I waited till I was going to bed to set it up.

According to my doctor, I am not like many CPAP users. I actually use mine every night. I do that because I don’t want to die. Funny how that works. So here it is almost midnight and I have no CPAP. Being a medical device, it’s not like I can drive to a 24 hour Walmart and get the missing part.

So now I am going through all the things I could do. I could drive the five hours back home to get the part that I am missing. This seemed like the best thing at the time because I had decided that I was not going to sleep that night. But after talking to my wife and some of the people there, I decided that the best thing to do would be to go to bed and figure it out the next day. It was at that point that realized just how little control I have over my life. I went to bed that night praying that God would keep me alive till morning. The irony here is that it has always been God, not my CPAP, that keeps me alive till morning.

Every Day a Blessing

Humans are interesting creatures. We fight and beg and steal for control of our lives, but then every night we lay down that control. We trust that we will wake the next morning. But the truth is we have no control over whether that will happen. Every night when you go to bed you have faith that you will wake the next morning. When we are sleeping we are at our most vulnerable. And yet even the strongest control freak will go to bed each night. The irony of that is staggering.

What I realized this summer is that every day I wake is a blessing from God. There are a million things that could happen to me while I sleep and I have no control over any of them. I am quite literally putting my life in the hands of someone else. If the power goes out, I could die. If lightning strikes and shorts out my CPAP, I could die. If aliens come and abduct me in my sleep…. well maybe not that. But the point is that I have no control over what happens to me while I sleep. And that is exactly the way that God wants it.

Our Daily Bread

This is the point that Jesus makes in this part of the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus is not saying, “Give us today more than we will ever need for the rest of our lives.” No. He says “Give us today our daily bread.” He says today — meaning that we will have to ask God again tomorrow. Jesus is teaching us that we must go daily to the source of our life. We must daily rest in our Heavenly Father. We must trust God, not once, not twice, but every single day of our lives.

Not only are we to trust God every single day — but what is Jesus asking for? Is he asking for Beef Wellington from Gordon Ramsey’s Pub & Grill? No. He is asking for bread. The most basic of foods. Sometimes we go to God as if He is a genie. We think that we have our most basic needs down and God will give us 1968 Corvette Stingrays. But that is not what Jesus is saying. He is saying that we need to trust God for the needs we have every day. This is something that we have a hard time with in America.

My wife knew a pastor in Mexico who had next to nothing. Nearly every day his children would come to him hungry and ask for food. He did not have money or food and his response would always be to tell them to ask God. Without fail they would have food for diner that night. People would just leave food at their door. These people did not know the situation in the home, only that God wanted them to bless the pastor and his family.

Sparrows Don’t Fear — Why Should You?

Too often we put our security in credit cards, or life insurance, or crash-test ratings of cars. Yet all of these will fail us. Every single one of these things that we put our faith in will let us down. Even other people cannot give us what we need. We must daily put our faith in God. For most people that seems like a scary thing. How can we trust God? What if I get hurt? How do I know that God has what is best for me?

All these questions Jesus answers just a few verses later in Matthew. He tells us that God feeds the birds of the air. He tells us that God clothes the lilies of the field in more splendor than King Solomon. He tells us that we are worth more to God than these. He tells us that God is our Heavenly Father who loves us. And he tells us that worry does not solve anything.

This isn’t Jesus telling us that we will never suffer. Suffering is part of what it means to be human in a fallen world. Rather Jesus is telling us that God knows the needs we have and He will work good in our lives. Sometimes we will not see that good till we see the face of Jesus, but we are promised that God will ultimately bring good to those who follow Him.

In my introduction I mentioned houses and floods. Jesus talks about this very thing in the next chapter of Matthew. Jesus says that unless you build your life on Him you will fail. He says that our security is in nothing else but Him. We must follow God and trust Him for our every need or we will be destroyed by the storms in our lives.

May you realize that you can’t save yourself.

May you stop trying to control your whole life.

May you learn to lay your cares at the feet of Jesus.

And may God bless you with exactly what you need for that day.


I would be remiss if I didn’t end with a note about how you can help Texas, Louisiana, and Florida. There are numerous organizations that specialize in relief. Head here to see how you can contribute.

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