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Daily Bread

“Give us this day our daily bread.”…Daily is a misleading translation of the Greek epiousios, which is literally “above the essence” or “super substantial”….In the Lord’s Prayer we are not merely asking for physical health, but for [daily] spiritual nourishment.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Matthew 6:11)


“Give us bread today for the coming day,” or “Give us today the bread we need for today.” The term ἐπιούσιος (epiousios) does not occur outside of early Christian literature…so its meaning is difficult to determine. Various suggestions include “daily,” “the coming day,” and “for existence.” (NET Bible, Luke 11:3)


“In this prayer there are two prominent references to the last times which usually escape us. One is the petition “hallowed be Thy Name, Thy Kingdom come,” which reminds us of the “Maranatha” and “Come, Lord” of the first eucharistic liturgies. The second, and more important, is the petition “Give us this daily our daily (epiousion) bread.” Exegetes have been unable to agree on the meaning of these words. There is, however, plenty of evidence leading to the conclusion that the “bread” we ask for in this prayer is not the ordinary bread we eat every day, which is the way we usually understand it, but the Bread of the Eucharist, which is epiousios in the sense that it is “of that which is coming” or “to come”—in other words, of the Kingdom which is to come.” (Metropolitan John Zizioulas)


“ “Give us today our daily bread”. One might be tempted to wonder what one could say about this petition by way of elaboration or explanation, since it seems pretty straightforward. I suggest, however, three things. First of all, that little word, “daily”. The Greek is epiousion/ epiousios. It is a rare enough word…. But what precisely does it mean? In Acts 16:11, we find in Luke’s note on the apostolic itinerary the following: “We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the next day, to Neapolis.” The Greek rendered here “the next day” is epiouse. It is reasonable therefore to translate the “epiousion bread” as “bread for the next day”, or “tomorrow’s bread”…This means that Christ bids us pray for what we need to live another day. We are not bidden to pray for enough bread to last the coming year, or the coming month, or even the coming week… We are to trust God every day, not presuming on the future or worrying about it. We pray for our epiousion bread, enough to get us through another day. Secondly, we note that the term “bread” here refers not just to the material with which we make sandwiches, but all our food, all that we need to live…More importantly, as the Fathers were keen to point out, it includes what we need for our spiritual health. In other words, it also includes the Eucharist…For Christ is the bread of life…” (Fr. Lawrence Farley, St. Cyprian of Carthage)


“The prayer for our “daily bread” is normally understood to signify generally all of our bodily needs and whatever we require to sustain our lives in this world. In the spiritual tradition however, this petition, because it literally says our “essential” or “super-essential” bread, is often understood in the spiritual sense to mean the nourishment of our souls by the Word of God, Jesus Christ who is the “Bread of Life;” the “Bread of God which has come down from heaven and given life to the world” (Jn 6.33–36); the bread which “a man may eat of it and not die,” but “live forever” (Jn 6.50–51). Thus the prayer for “daily bread” becomes the petition for daily spiritual nourishment through abiding communion with Christ so that one might live perpetually with God.” (Fr. Thomas Hopko)

“…man shall not live by bread alone. Humans have a spiritual nature that can be satisfied only by the spiritual nutrients of God’s word…man's primary food is the word of God, and obedience to that word.” (Foundation Study Bible, Deuteronomy 8:3, Orthodox Study Bible, Deuteronomy 8:3)

“Give us this day our daily bread.”…Daily is a misleading translation of the Greek epiousios, which is literally “above the essence” or “super substantial”….In the Lord’s Prayer we are not merely asking for physical health, but for [daily] spiritual nourishment.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Matthew 6:11)

“Give us our daily bread” (not an annuity for life) applies to spiritual gifts too; the little daily support for the daily trial. Life has to be taken day by day and hour by hour.” (C.S. Lewis)“Grace is available for each of us every day - our spiritual daily bread - but we've got to remember to ask for it with a grateful heart and not worry about whether there will be enough for tomorrow.” (Sarah Ban Breathnach)

“God does test and humble us not only that we might discern what is going on in our hearts, but also to teach us that “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word proceeding from the mouth of God” (Deuteronomy 8:3)…Testing and humbling are divinely provided as educational experiences that rouse our hearts to dependence on God. They heighten the acuity of our spiritual ears so that we become attentive to the word of God in all situations, in every temptation (Mt 4:3-4), and in every choice and decision.” (Dynamis 6/28/2019)

“Examine yourself daily in the sight of God.” (St. Isaac the Syrian) “We should set goals to pray on a daily basis, to read scripture on a daily basis, and to do what pleases God on a daily basis. Certainly our prayers and study of the scriptures are pleasing to God, because these things bring us closer to Him. We need to set as a daily goal to minister to those around us.” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)

“God’s provision is daily, not all at once…Christ wants to guide you and help you with your daily problems.” (Life Application Study Bible, Luke 11:3, Colossians 2:6-7)

“Give us this day our daily bread.”…Daily is a misleading translation of the Greek epiousios, which is literally “above the essence” or “super substantial”….In the Lord’s Prayer we are not merely asking for physical health, but for [daily] spiritual nourishment.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Matthew 6:11)

“A conscious, daily contact with God, when I open up to Him in prayer and attentiveness to His word, removes the “sting” both from the ups and the downs of ever-changing life-situations.” (Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin)

“…we must rely on God and communicate daily with Him…daily commitment to God promotes a solid relationship with Him.” (Life Application Study Bible, Joshua 9:1-6, Jonah 2:1-7)

“Knowing God is not a matter of knowing Him through reason; it is primarily a matter of knowing Him through worship and prayer…it comes from steady, daily growth in faith, love, obedience and humility.” (Father Anthony Coniaris)

“...spiritual reading must also be a part of our daily routine. We must see spiritual reading and following the daily readings of the Church year as equally important with brushing our teeth. Reading books on prayer and the inner life should be as much a part of our day as having a nourishing breakfast. Feeding your soul is not just the job of your priest, for that would be like not expecting your children to do their homework.” (Abbot Tryphon)

“A good model for us, and one that is exemplified by many great spiritual teachers, is a rule of prayer in which we pray in the morning when we get up and the evening before we go to bed. …The principle here is to set some time aside each day to devote to prayer and communion with God…it helps maintain a continual consciousness of God that will help you be calmer and less anxious in all of your daily duties as a spouse, father or mother, family member, business owner, employee, and/or friend. More importantly, it helps you be more loving so that you are kinder, humbler, more compassionate and more giving then you would be divorced from God.” (Sacramental Living)

“We can learn and grow daily, motivated by love and not by fear or pride, knowing that God gives the energy to become mature.” (Life Application Study Bible, Colossians 1:28-29)

“Core convictions are revealed by our daily actions, by what we actually do.” (John Ortberg)

“When we pray in the Our Father “Give us this day our daily bread,” we are asking God to give us what we need. It is not required of us that we be specific in our requests, for our loving Lord knows before we ask.” (Abbot Tryphon)

“The spiritual health or malaise of the heart has daily and eternal significance…The final disposition of souls is in the hand of God. But so is the daily disposition of our lives.” (Dynamis 3/24/2015, Father Stephen Freeman)

"Three things help me, on a daily basis, to maintain sanity in my spiritual house: prayer, contemplation, and self-examination. I know that I need at least a little bit of each of these, usually in the morning, to walk before God and stay open to His will and His grace in my life." Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin)

“You can achieve the peace and order you seek only by making a place within your heart and within your daily life for the grace of God to take root. Divine grace is freely given, but God will not force us to receive it. It takes constant effort on our part to get out of God’s way and let His grace heal us and change us.” (Rod Dreher)

#AbbotTryphon #FatherAnthonyConiaris #SacramentalLiving #SrDrVassaLarin #JohnOrtberg #RodDreher #FrStavrosNAkrotirianakis #LifeApplicationStudyBible #StIsaactheSyrian #OrthodoxStudyBible #FoundationStudyBible #SarahBanBreathnach #Dynamis #NETBible #MetropolitanJohnZizioulas #FrLawrenceFarley #StCyprianofCarthage #FrThomasHopko

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