Jesus taught His disciples to pray saying: “give us this day our daily bread” (Matt. 6:11). I’ve prayed this prayer many a times and like many, bread has often meant provision, blessing, the job, the house, etc. The Lord is faithful in meeting all our material and financial needs and I’m sure you can attest to His hand of provision in your life.
However, there is a significant spiritual application to this prayer. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus is teaching us not to just ask for things but to seek the kingdom. There are three key laws of the Kingdom regarding prayer that Jesus taught: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matt. 7:7). Asking, seeking and knocking are not the same things but different progressions in our prayer life and indeed our walk with the Lord. Each is more powerful and deeper than the last. As children of God we are entitled to ask for things, this is the first stage of babyhood Christianity akin to a child who demands incessantly from their parents.
However, seeking is not just an intensification of asking nor are we to seek things. For the Gentiles seek after things (Matt. 6:23). Throughout scripture, seeking is never associated with things but the Kingdom. In this second realm, you seek God and His Kingdom and you find the Lord Himself. This distinction is clearly made by Jesus who says: “take no thought for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor yet for the body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? For after all these things do the Gentiles seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek ye the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:31-33). We are not to seek things, nor success, nor worldly accolades. The Greek word for ‘seek’ is associated with worship, for we worship that which we seek.
The third realm is knocking. Knocking is yet greater and more intense than seeking. The one who seeks finds, but the one who knocks will have the door opened to him to partake. Finding the Kingdom is one progression in our maturity, but entering and possessing the Kingdom in full measure is yet another dimension of life. Moses found the Promised Land (type of the Kingdom) but He never entered in. Similarly, many saints have found Christ in the first fruit measure of Passover and Pentecost but they have yet to press in to fully enter and possess the full harvest. Sadly, many have relegated this to a someday heaven. They may have come to the revelation of the Christ within but they have yet to press on to union and identification with Him through death. Knocking admits you into a realm beyond yourself where Christ in you is no longer just the hope of glory but you find yourself in Christ, being swallowed up into Him until all that is seen is Christ in your temple. This is the realm of sonship and perfection.
If you are still in the realm of asking for things, without the experiential knowledge that as you seek the Kingdom all these things will be added to you, then the prayer “give us this day our daily bread” will be just a request for things. But the bread that Jesus points us to is spiritual bread. Israel ate of the manna and died. The physical manna did not impart to them a quality of life beyond physical sustenance. To those who are occupied with chasing and accumulating physical manna that perishes, Jesus declares: “do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life” (John 6:27). Indeed “man does not live on bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). It is for this bread that Jesus calls us to pray.
I believe the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples was what He Himself lived and which His disciples observed in His life. Jesus’ prayer life was that of seeking and knocking on the Father’s heart. For He did only as He saw His Father do. The food which sustained Him was the very will of God. He had food to eat of which many did not know (John 4:32). He declares: “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me” (John 4:34). The will of God is food indeed, it is sustenance and the source of strength. The will of God is the word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.
However, the answer to the prayer “give us this day our daily bread” is not just provision of counsel and wisdom for daily living. In the realm of seeking and knocking, we’re not in search of God’s will for what we should do for a living, who we should marry, where we should live or the countless other dilemmas of life. As important as all these things may be, they are in the category of that which will be added. But the will of God concerns first and foremost matters of the Kingdom.
It is seeking the very impartation of a person, Christ Jesus – the bread of life. This is the bread of God which comes down from heaven and produces the very life of Christ. For “if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever” (John 6:51). This bread imparts incorruptible life. It is the very Word of God, the incorruptible seed, quickened by the Spirit to impart His divine nature. This bread is what nurtures the nature of Christ within. It is living bread that develops the inward man by transmitting to us the word of Christ, the power of Christ, the mind of Christ, the glory of Christ, the character of Christ, the wisdom of Christ. All that Christ is is being transferred to us by the living Word which feeds our inner man, and grows us up into the full stature of Christ. His life is being assimilated within as we eat this heavenly bread until His life puts on flesh in us.
The bread from heaven is the hidden manna found in the holy of holies – the realm of fullness. This hidden manna is incorruptible. Spiritually it represents the incorruptible bread of life that Christ is within us. For “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him” (John 6:56). This living bread is what Jesus teaches us to pray for. It is the nourishment of the Kingdom of God for anyone called to be an overcomer.
The bread is for this day. However, ‘this day’ of which the Lord speaks is not a literal 24-hour period or a date on the calendar. The Day refers to the Day of the Lord – the dawning of the spiritual enlightenment of the Kingdom of God in our experience. The “Day” of the Lord is not some future date. The light of Christ is the Day! This is the new Day of God in which we now walk and live. Those who walk in this Day (Christ) are called “sons of light” and “sons of the Day” (1 Thess. 5:5). They no longer walk in darkness nor are they waiting for the Day to come someday – “for you yourselves know perfectly that the Day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night…but you, brethren are not in the darkness, that the Day should overtake you as a thief” (1 Thess. 5:2,4). For this reason Paul declares: “let us who are of the Day be sober…” (1 Thess. 5:8).
The Day is a spiritual condition we experience individually in different measure depending on the degree to which Christ Jesus, the Sun of Righteousness has risen within. This Day is a state of being where we enter into and abide in His marvelous light where the natural no longer becomes our light source or dependence. Those in the Day, no longer walk in the Adamic consciousness but live out of the mind of Christ where darkness, Satan, condemnation, fear, bondage, religious effort, sin… all lose their reality.
Notice John while on the Isle of Patmos declares: “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day” (Rev. 1:10). This wasn’t a Sabbath day. The Day of the Lord had come in John’s life and He was experiencing it in the Spirit. In this Day, what John saw and experienced was a greater dimension of the revelation of Jesus Christ – the living bread from heaven.
It is in ‘this day’ that we too can partake of the living bread and experience all Christ is as our reality. As you seek the Lord and His continual and unfailing strength in this Day of God, pray “give me this day my daily bread” seeking that He would give you the living bread – Christ Jesus in greater measure.