Daily Devotions

Hello Good Shepherd!

During these summer months our Daily Devotions will continue with Good Shepherd’s Pastors along with Jen Jarman and Matthew Petersen each taking turns writing them week by week.  The topics and themes will be as varied as the Staff members themselves!  We hope you will check us out each day as you continue your daily Vine Time with God.  Open yourself to what God is saying to you through this writing, and pray that the Spirit will bring forth fruit from your life for the sake of the world. 

Also, as a way to encourage each other, use the comment box at the end of each day’s devotion to leave a thought, a prayer or a reflection of your own.  

Pastor Heidi Johns

Daily Devotion
Pastor Heidi Johns

Daily Devotion

Give us this day our daily bread….

As I was in the midst of writing today’s devotional I was also doing laundry.  When I went downstairs to switch the clothes from washer to dryer I realized something was terribly wrong.  The floor of the laundry room was covered in water.  The washing machine had malfunctioned.  Needless to say, everything else (including this devotion) was put on hold while I borrowed a wet vac and got to work cleaning up. 

Here’s my confession.  I rarely think much about the blessing of things like my washing machine, until something goes wrong. Second confession, oftentimes my life/prayer goes the same way.  Too often I pay attention and pray only when things go wrong, rather than having prayer as an ongoing conversation with God, whether in mundane, happy or challenging times. 

The petition in the Lord’s prayer about “daily bread” can help us be mindful of God’s presence and gifts in our lives.  While it may seem the petition is only about food, Luther helps us to see that this is an all encompassing prayer.  In the Small Catechism, this is what Luther considers our daily bread,
“Everything included in the necessities and nourishment for our bodies, such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, farm, fields, livestock, money, property, an upright spouse, upright children, upright members of the household, upright and faithful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, decency, honor, good friends, faithful neighbors and the like.”

Wow, that’s quite a list.  I love how Luther ends with “and the like” meaning we are free to add items as we think of them.  For example, today I might add washing machines. Another very important point that Luther makes is that God gives us these things even without our prayer.  It is true, right?  Having these things isn’t dependent on our praying for them.  HOWEVER, Luther says we pray this petition so that we will RECOGNIZE what daily bread is, and receive it (from God) with thanksgiving.    Praying this prayer petition reminds us of God’s good and gracious provision for us—hopefully all the time, not just when things don’t go as planned.  

One last thought.  When Jesus taught us this prayer he reminds us that we are part of the human community.  He taught us to pray “Our Father” not, “My Father” and “give us this day our daily bread” not, “give me this day my daily bread”.   This prayer connects us not only to God, but also to our human family.  It would seem that if we pray “give us this day our daily bread,” then maybe we are also signing on to share our daily bread with others.  It is not God’s intention, it wouldn’t seem, that some have an abundance of daily bread while others are starved for any or all of the things on the list Luther wrote about.   Perhaps a follow up prayer might be, “teach me to share my daily bread.” 

Reflection: As you look at Luther’s list, what are one or two things that you feel prompted to pray about further?  

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1 comments on article "Daily Devotion"

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Roy Johnson

Very meaningful explanation of "our daily bread."

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