Tag Archive: the Lords prayer


It was just another praying through of the Lord’s prayer…

You know the deal, ‘Our Father, who are in heaven, blah blah blah blah

blah blah blah blah, you know, find the rhythm

blah blah blah lips moving to recreate words long worn into you in some ancient school assembly probably

blah blah blah’ WAIT, WHAT?

There is was, middle of the prayer, Matthew 6, verse 11:

11 Give us today our daily bread.

That’s surely a typo, right? Everyone knows it goes, ‘Give me today MY daily bread.’

But it wasn’t…


i would so much like to claim the credit for this one, but after 41 years of reciting the Lord’s Prayer, as it has come to be known, the very one that Jesus taught His disciples to share with them some incredible ingredients that make up a good prayer, it took someone else to point it out to me.

The phrase is a call for “OUR daily bread.”

How had i never seen that before?

The words of Martin Luther King Jnr. resonate in my ears, “No one is free until we are all free.”


In the Old Testament of the Bible, the second book of The Torah, in Exodus 16 there is a beautiful story of God supplying the Israelites with a sort of bread from heaven as they wandered through the desert. They were given strict instructions to collect just what they needed, and no more. Paul echoes a reminder to this in his second letter to the Corinthians in chapter 8:

13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, 15 as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”

While, in this passage, the writer is speaking specifically about believers sharing with believers, the reference to the community of Israel throws open a bigger picture. That when God provides, there should be enough for everyone. As long as people continue to adhere to the principle of gathering what you need. Not too much or too little.

Or to put it a different way, the call for us to be crying out for the provision of ‘Our Daily Bread’.

In Africa, we have the idea of Ubuntu – i am a person through people, or i am what i am because of who we are.

Ubuntu is the potential for being human, to value the good of the community above self interest.

We love to help other people. i believe that has been wired into our humanity. We see someone in need and something in us instantly wants to reach out and make a difference. However, as we grow up on a planet with a very loud and clear ‘Me first’ personology that is taught and modelled to us almost everywhere we look, i wonder where that particular strand of D.N.A. was reprogrammed?

Could it be that our desire to help others and see justice and equality for all has been curtailed, and even overwhelmed sometimes, by our longing for person comfort and luxury?

i will help you, as long as it does not affect my own personal comfort and well-being.

finding-nemo-seagull-mine (1)

Mine is more important than yours.

Give me this day MY daily bread. And then if there is leftovers, may you have yours as well.

Although that’s not how the prayer goes, is it?

What needs to change in me, for me, from me, the moment the light comes on and i realise that the words are, and have always been,

“Give us this day our daily bread.”

[For some practical conversations about how change can happen in South Africa, click here]

not to be confused with ‘can’t i just enjoy this big thing first?’

some people refuse to let go of stuff. and it kills them. some people it actually genuinely physically kills them, cos you can trace ulcers and other stress-related diseases and conditions to the unforgiveness and disappointments that they held onto for a considerable amount of their lives

someone once said “holding onto unforgiveness is like drinking a cup of poison and hoping the other person will die” – because most often the other person doesn’t even know you’re secretly hating, bittering against them, and instead, like a cancer, or a hardcore acid, it eats away at your insides ultimately causing you to implode and you are usually the only one suffering (well, and those around you, who have to live with you)

which, i think is why God puts such huge emphasis on it – in matthew 6 straight after what we call ‘The Lord’s prayer’ Jesus says something along the lines of if you refuse to forgive others, then my Father in heaven will refuse to forgive you. wo! Hold the bus! if i refuse to forgive someone i can lose my salvation? seems to be what the writer is saying…

and the thing is, it affects every single one of your relationships. i don’t believe it is possible to hold onto the disappointments of yesterday or the pain/grief someone else caused you and refuse to forgive them and expect to have a healthy relationship with anyone else… because you put up walls (walls which protect you from further pain but also from accepting and giving love to other people) and you increase distance (physically or intimately) and you become a lonely, sad little person actually

the other side of the bagel is that forgiving someone does not mean what they did was ok. it just means you are refusing to let it be your problem any more. you are releasing them to be dealt with by God (who probably already is, but if not will definitely be some day) and freeing yourself up to embrace life to the full and to be able to start enjoying the big things of the moment now…

at least until someone asks you when you’re getting married, what you’re doing next year, or when the baby is due…

they make take our lives… but they’ll never take… well, only you can give away your freedom…

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