Pray this Way

A Study of the Lord's Prayer

Session 3: How Much Is Enough?

Mark G. Vitalis Hoffman

CrossMarks Christian Resources

All materials in these studies that are not otherwise attributed are 1999 by Mark Vitalis Hoffman. Expressed permission is hereby granted to download and print these materials for personal use only. If you wish to use any of these materials for a group or other purposes, please contact me ( for permissions. In all cases, include my copyright notice and email address with any versions of the material. Thank you. 

For Openers:

For Your Information:



You cannot say the Lord’s prayer, and even once say "I".
You cannot pray the Lord’s prayer, and even once say "my".
Nor can you pray the Lord’s prayer and not pray for another.
For to ask for "our" daily bread, you include your sister and brother!
All God’s children are included in each and every plea.
From the beginning to the end of it, it does not once say "me".



For Your Consideration:

  1. This is the first time in the Lord’s Prayer that we directly give a command to God. (The earlier petitions use a third person command which is vague about who fulfills the requests.) What gives you the right to command God?!
  2. In the prayer, we tell God to "give" us daily bread. Does that mean we don’t have to work for it? To put the question another way, how does God "give" daily bread?
  3. What are some things you need for daily life? What are some things you want for daily life? What is the difference between wants and needs?
  4. If the bread for which we pray has something to do with daily rations, what would you say is a sufficient ration? Could the size of the ration you need differ from day to day or at different periods in your life?
  5. A story is told about a famous rabbi who was asked what kind of curse it was in the creation story for the serpent to have to eat earth, since this was a food that would always be available. He answered: "Humans are condemned to eat bread by the sweat of their brow, so that if they weary of their labors they will cry out to God. Especially in their distress they remain linked to God. But God has given the serpent everything it needs, so that it will never turn to Him again." How would you relate this anecdote to the petition in the Lord’s Prayer?
  6. What is the point of the story in Exodus 16.1-35 regarding manna in the wilderness? Does it offer any insight into our interpretation of the Fourth Petition of the Lord’s Prayer?
  7. Think about how you have interpreted this petition. Now consider whether it makes any difference to your interpretation because it says "our" daily bread instead of "my" daily bread.
  8. Does this petition encourage us to not worry about or plan for the future? (Is there a difference between worrying and planning?) For example, if God takes care of all our daily needs, should you be buying life insurance?
  9. In light of John 6.1-58, is it more important to desire the bread needed for this life or the "Bread of Life"?

The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food in due season.
You open your hand, satisfying the desire of every living thing.

Psalm 145.15-16


For Later: