From the Word
“Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” Matthew 6:11-13
We continue our journey through the Lord’s Prayer. For a greater discussion of this wondrous gift, go through the section on the Lord’s Prayer in Luther’s Small Catechism.
Give us each day our daily bread. In Jesus day, the bread was not only a staple of their diet, it was the means by which they scooped up their food (their eating utensil). The bread helped them eat nearly everything. Daily bread refers to all the blessings of body and soul that we need each day. God daily provides this, and this prayer reminds us of the source of every blessing.
And forgive us our debts (Luke has “sins”) as we also have forgiven our debtors. The reason Jesus came was to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins, once and for all time. We are forgiven by God’s grace because Jesus took our sins to the cross. Having been forgiven so much, we forgive in thanks to Him. Forgiveness is what our lives are built on. Forgiveness dominates our relationship to God, and is indispensable in our relationships with others.
And lead us not into temptation. Satan alone tempts us, but we ask God to guard and protect us from the evil one. This is a constant need. Satan comes with temptations and accusations, seeking to remove our focus from Jesus and rob us of our peace. It is the grace of Christ that enables us to resist temptation. It is that same grace that grants forgiveness when we give in. When Satan accuses us and seeks to get us to despair, we flee to Jesus as our defense. We are sinners, but we stand in the forgiveness and righteousness of Jesus. We will not be moved.
But deliver us from evil. Jesus delivers us from the evil in this world. We are strengthened in that assurance as we continue in God’s Word and in the reception of His grace in the Sacraments. Our sole reliance is on Him and Him alone. He will ultimately deliver us from evil when He takes us to the home He has prepared for us in heaven.
Lord, teach us to pray.