The Lord’s Prayer is concerned with the daily. The petition for “daily bread” implies that the other requests are also daily in nature. Daily petitions point to daily needs. Take a look again at the requests that follow the prayer for sustenance. “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matt 6:11-13).
I’m really thankful for this prayer. I often have no idea what I really need or how I should pray. I tend to take Romans 8:26 as my starting point for thinking on prayer: “we do not know what to pray for as we ought.” I couldn’t agree more. If your familiar with that text you know that it goes on to say that the Spirit helps us in our weakness and intercedes on our behalf. Here Jesus helps us in our weakness. He lays it out clear. Here are your basic daily needs and here is how you should pray. He gives us three things to focus on in this section of the prayer.
Legend has it that Luther’s dying words were, “we are beggars, this is true.” He understood that the life of faith is a life lived by grace. Everything we are, have, and do is given. One thing we need every day is the gift of release from our debt. Here we are instructed to come to the Father daily to receive that grace. In turn, we are in need of extending that forgiveness to others on a daily basis. In this one petition we drive to the heart of Christianity. The obliteration of condemning debt is the core of the gospel. Every day we are invited to know the liberation that comes from the cross-work of the Son. Every day we are called to mimic that aggressive assault on the debt of others.
According to this next petition, temptation is a significant danger every day. The stumbling blocks in our paths that cause us to fall away from God are serious. The instruction here is to seek leadership from God out of and away from temptation. He is a good shepherd that desires to protect us from temptation.
The final request shows us yet another daily danger. The evil one that prowls around like a lion seeks daily to devour us. This prayer calls upon God to be our deliverer from the enemy. The trio of sin, temptation, and satan are all addressed in this prayer. In many ways this prayer is a war cry, a battlefield supplication. God is peeling back the curtain and showing us the reality we face and then equipping us with the weapons necessary to engage the battle. The conflict is daily and the weapons are to be taken up every day.