Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

  • 14 January 2011

Article Highlights

  • Turning to God for our daily bread over time can teach us how to truly pray and receive answers to prayers.
  • Petitioning God for our daily bread can help us come to know our Saviour and our Heavenly Father better.
  • Asking God for our daily bread is a way to focus us on the smaller, more manageable bits of a problem.
  • As we seek and receive divine bread daily, our faith and trust in God and His Son grow.

“Consistent effort in seemingly small, daily steps is a key principle in achieving any great work, including progress in the pathway of discipleship.”

Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles impressed upon young adults the importance of living well day by day during a Church Educational System fireside broadcast from the campus of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, on January 9, 2011.

He cited the miracle of manna, when Jehovah provided daily bread from heaven to the people of Israel as they wandered in the wilderness after leaving Egypt. Each day, people were to gather enough for just that day—except on the day before the Sabbath, when they were to gather enough for two days—or else it would spoil.

“[Jehovah] was teaching them to … walk with Him today and trust that He would grant a sufficient amount of food for the next day on the next day, and so on,” Elder Christofferson said.

The people of Israel prayed for sustenance in the moment that they could not provide for themselves, yet they continued to be active in doing and providing that which was within their power. In doing so, Christ could never be too far from their minds and hearts.

Likewise, Elder Christofferson said, it is essential that we understand we have daily needs we want our Heavenly Father’s help with. From our literal daily bread—food—to spiritual and physical strength needed to deal with life’s trials, we should look to God each day for the help and sustenance we require for that specific day.

“Generally it is good to try to anticipate what is coming and prepare to deal with it,” Elder Christofferson said. “At times, however, … to worry about what is or may be coming can be debilitating. It can paralyze us and make us quit.”

The Lord will let us know through the Spirit when to look ahead. At other times, the Spirit will let us know when to “take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient is the day unto the evil thereof” (3 Nephi 13:34).

“As we seek and receive divine bread daily, our faith and trust in God and His Son grow,” Elder Christofferson testified.

Sometimes the answer to our turning to God does not come at once or the answer is not what we wanted to hear. At one point in his life, Elder Christofferson was faced with a financial challenge that wasn’t resolved for years.

“The fact that I was forced to turn to God for help almost daily over an extended period of years, taught me truly how to pray and get answers to prayer, and taught me in a very practical way to have faith in God,” he said. “I came to know my Savior and my Heavenly Father in a way and to a degree that might not have happened otherwise or that might have taken me much longer to achieve.”

In making decisions day by day, we can slowly but surely draw closer to the Lord and avoid distasteful influences from becoming a part of our lives. Being consistent in seemingly small, daily steps is a key principle in achieving any great work, including faith in and obedience to the Lord. “And out of small things proceedeth that which is great” (D&C 64:33).

“In reality, there aren’t very many things in a day that are totally without significance,” Elder Christofferson pointed out. “Even the mundane and repetitious can be tiny but significant building blocks that in time establish the discipline and character and order needed to realize our plans and dreams.”

Jesus said to his disciples, “I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die” (John 6:48–50).

As we daily come unto Him of whom manna was a type and symbol, the very bread of life, we can grow in love for and trust and faith in our Savior and Heavenly Father.