We are to ask for the heavenly bread–not physical bread. Christ told us specifically to not ask for food. “Do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it” (Luke 12:29, NIV).
Christ in the Lord’s Prayer tells us rather to ask the Father each day for the spiritual bread from heaven. But what is it exactly? Some churches believe that a round wafer is magically and mystically turned into the body of Christ, the bread from heaven. This practice is not found in the scriptures of truth.
Christ gives a treatise on the heavenly bread in John 6. The “true bread from heaven” was not manna which fell for the Israelites in the wilderness. They all died. But, My Father gives you the true bread from heaven (v. 32). The spiritual “bread of God is He which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world” (v. 33).
Physical bread is the staff of a physical life that ends. But spiritual bread is the staff of the spiritual life that never ends. This bread feeds the new inner spiritual man; it is our sustenance.
Then Jesus (Yahshua) declares Himself to be that Heavenly Sustenance. “I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger, and he that believes on me shall never thirst” (v. 34).
The key word here is “believes.” It is believing on Him–that is how we partake of His Spirit. You take into yourself what you believe. You become what you believe. You are what you eat. Believing Him and His word about who He is, and what He has done, and what He will do–this is what it’s all about. Belief. Belief is not a material thing. It is a special invisible, spiritual thing. To believe Him and what His name means is to eat of the spiritual bread from heaven.
He would later say that His body is the “bread of God” and encouraged us to eat it. “Eat” here is to spiritually believe what transpired with His body–the death, burial, and resurrection. He was saying that His flesh, His actual physical body was going to be presented as the one sacrifice that would purge our sins. Believing this in truth is eating (taking in) this spiritual, true bread from heaven.
“I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh which I will give for the life of the world” (v. 51). Here we see him giving His physical body so that we could have immortality.
He was teaching us to pray–not for ourselves with things for ourselves, food, material things. No. We are to ask for more of His Spirit, more faith, more belief of what He has done for us. We should recall and thank Him for allowing our old nature to die with Him on the cross, to be buried with Him, and to be “raised to walk in a newness of life” with Him (Romans 6:3-7).
The words, Give us this day our daily bread, contain a profound lesson in our learning to pray. Kenneth Wayne Hancock