Luke 11:3

ESV Give us each day our daily bread,
NIV Give us each day our daily bread.
NASB Give us each day our daily bread.
CSB Give us each day our daily bread.
NLT Give us each day the food we need,
KJV Give us day by day our daily bread.

What does Luke 11:3 mean?

Jesus' prayer continues to reflect His instructions for His disciples' ministry. When He sent out the Twelve and then the seventy-two, He told them not to bring extra supplies (Luke 9:3; 10:4); in this training stage, God would provide what they needed through others (Luke 10:7–8). Shortly before the crucifixion, Jesus gives the disciples different instructions for their work after His ascension, including to take a moneybag (Luke 22:36). On their mission establishing the church, they would need to be more mindful of getting food, but the source would always be God, often through those they had ministered to (Acts 2:44–47; 11:27–30).

The word interpreted "daily" is troublesome. It is only found in the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:11). It refers to something that is necessary for life that has a time element, but scholars debate what "life" means: does it mean the regular sustenance required to keep our bodies going or does it refer to eternal life? Is the time element "this day," "tomorrow," or the future? Biblical scholars have many debates over these definitions.

The wording doesn't quite make sense as a prayer for eternal life. Although the rest of the prayer is more spiritual than practical, we only need to ask for salvation once. As a prayer for food, "each day" and "daily" are unnecessarily repetitive. The verse may mean, "Give us each day the bread we need to live." This is consistent with Proverbs 30:8–9 wherein the writer requests not too much, lest he feel he doesn't need God, nor too little, lest he be tempted to steal. It also is reflected in the following teaching on prayer which focuses on God's provision when His children ask (Luke 11:5–13).
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