...give us this day our daily bread...

edited October 2006 in Faith Issues
When we say, "Our Father" The Lord's Prayer, what is meant by "..give us this day our daily bread..."?

Please pray for me always,
Believer in God


  • I have read several commentary on “Give us this day our daily bread” and the best explanation I found was in the Orthodox Study Bible. So I typed up the commentary that they provided for you and hopefully their explanation is helpful.

    The expression daily bread indicates not merely bread for this day, taken for sustenance of life, it is bread for the eternal day of the Kingdom of God, for sustenance of our immortal life. It is living, “super essential” bread. This bread, prepared by God in the beginning for the immortality of our nature, is the Bread of Life which will triumph over the death brought about by sin. Jesus commands us to seek first the Kingdom of God (v. 33). Here He tells us to ask not merely for material bread which keeps us in good physical health, but for the spiritual bread which gives us life- the Living Bread, Christ Himself, given in the Holy Eucharist to those who receive him.

    In His Name
  • These are the notes from The Orthodox New Testament:

    Saint Chrysostom: "He speaks of bread for one day....And this is so we may not, beyond this, wear ourselves out with the care of the following day." [Th., P.G. 57:252 (col. 280).]

    Saint Maximos: "If we are charged in the prayer to ask for this day's bread which sustains the present life, let us not go beyond the borders of the prayer in greedily speculating on periods of many years, and let us not forget that we are mortal. On the contrary, let us without anxiety ask in prayer for one day's bread and let us show that in the Christian way of life we make life a preparation for death, by letting our free will overtake nature, and before death comes, by cutting the soul off from the concerns for bodily things. In this way we will not be nailed to corruptible things....But the one who prays for the superessential bread,...receives it only as he is able to receive it. For the Bread of life, out of His love for men, gives Himself to all who ask Him, but not in the same manner to everyone: to those who have done great works, He gives Himself more fully, to those who have done smaller ones, less; to each, then, according to the spiritual dignity enabling him to receive it." [Ib., 113, 114.]

    Saint Gregory of Nyssa: "We say to God, 'be giving us our needed daily bread'; not delicacies or riches, nor magnificent purple robes, golden ornaments, precious stones, or silver dishes. Nor do we ask Him for landed estates, or military commands, or political leadership. We pray neither for herds of horses and oxen or other cattle in great numbers, nor for a host of slaves. We do not say, give us a prominent position in assemblies or monuments and statues raised to us, nor silken robes, and musicians at meals, nor any other thing by which the soul is estranged from the thought of God and higher things; no - but only bread...Men, let yourselves no longer be distracted by desiring vanities." [Ib., 63, 64.]

    Saint Kyril: "The word epiousios, applied here to the bread, some explain as meaning that which is comnig, and about to be given in the future world, understanding it again spiritually, while others give the word a different meaning. But if it be true, that the bread men make mention of when they pray is that which is to be given them in the world to come, why do they add, 'Be giving us our needed daily bread'? For by this we may see that what they request is their daily provision, asking not as loving wealth, but as free from all earthly anxiety. We must, therefore, explain epiousios as meaning that which is necessary and sufficient." [Hom. 75, Commentary, Ch. 11, 313.]
  • Thank you joyisGod and Orthodox 11. All of this information was really helpful. Thank you soooooo much.

    Please pray for me always,
    Believer in God
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