Can you pray “Give us this day our daily bread?”
Jesus taught us to pray for our daily bread – not for my daily bread. Am I ready to act according to these words?
I was teaching about the Lord’s Prayer to the students at the Kampala School of Theology. When we came to the sentence: “Give us this day our daily bread” one student sheepishly asked: “can you mzungus (Europeans) pray this?” I really didn’t understand what he was getting at, so he clarified: “Do you understand what is poverty? Have you experienced hunger? Do you know what it is to be without daily bread?” No one had put it this way. I was startled, and confessed: “I really do not know what hunger is. I have never experienced it. Once when I was a young boy, my mother sent to bed without supper because I had misbehaved. I missed the third full meal that day. No, I do not know what poverty is.”
The student’s question is relevant today. Every ninth person in the world is suffering from hunger. The UN estimates that this will grow to over 1 billion by 2050.
The answer to the question is found in the prayer itself. Jesus taught us to pray for our daily bread – not for my daily bread. Am I ready to act according to these words? People interpret the words of Jesus in light of their own culture. I have been brought up in the midst of abundance. I am in a position to alleviate the suffering of others. Paul wrote: “At the present time your plenty will supply what they need” (2 Cor 8.14).
The question stumped me and sounded stupid at first. Now that I have reflected on it, I ask: “am I ready to pray this way? Am I ready to act according to these challenging words? Am I ready to be the answer to this prayer?”
Mother Teresa’s taught to pray: “Make us worthy, Lord, to serve those people throughout the world who live and die in poverty and hunger. Give them through our hands, this day, their daily bread, and by our understanding love, give them peace and joy.”
Blog by Hannu Happonen 9.9.2020. From Fida FI website: www.fida.info/blogi/haluanko-olla-osa-vastausta-siihen-mita-rukoilen