Thursday, November 20, 2014

bread prayers



Last week I began praying for bread. Not physical, actual bread. But the God-I-asked-for-bread-please-don't-give-me-a-rock kind of bread; the give-me-this-day-my-daily-bread kind of bread; the Jesus-is-the-bread-of-life kind of bread; the manna-falling-from-heaven-tasting-like-honey kind of bread.

Bread is good, isn't it?


Bread fills the empty spaces of our lives. It is God's provision, broken for us. We fall into the hands of a mighty and merciful God when we bow low and give thanks for bread's sustaining power. 

I need bread in my soul, in the places that I don't understand the will of God. 

I need bread in my body, for healthy cells to arise and sickness to be eradicated.

I need bread in my marriage, in the places I don't know how to love well and be loved humbly. 

I need bread in my mothering, in the strain of shepherding children who need God more than they know. 

I need bread in my family, in my relationships with the people to whom God has linked my life.

I need bread in my friendships, in the difficulty and the drama and the delight of women learning how to love one another.

I need bread in our home, the place we dwell in safety and trust in the midst of a fragile and complicated world.

I need bread in our finances, in the decisions of giving and saving and submitting and glorifying the God who has given so freely to us.

Do you need bread, too?


It seems a little strange at first to name our needs as bread. But Jesus is the Lord of the strange words, and He said things that confused people like this:


Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." -John 6:35 
"But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” -John 6:50-52

And so the prayer rises from deep within my needy soul, and saying the words brings life to my bones and hope to my heart. Perhaps it will do the same for you?

Father, I need bread today. I need bread in my soul, my relationships, my life. I cling to Jesus as the Bread of Heaven, His sacrifice as my sustenance and delight. I lay my pride down. I throw off my selfish ways. I refuse to trust in my limited understanding of all that is happening in the world. Thank you for being broken for me, Jesus, for being faithful to save despite my faithlessness to obey. Thank you for deeming me worthy of sacrificial love despite my unholy heart. Your ways have never failed me; Your love has never fallen short of all my needs. I won't grasp for life in the ashes of my broken ways, but I look to heaven for the Bread of Life to bring resurrection power to all that seems dark and hopeless. I humbly open my hands for your bread. My soul will patiently wait for You....

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