The Lord’s Prayer
Give us our daily bread accroding to the day. —Luke 11:3
What does “daily” correspond to?
Isaiah 58:2. Yet day by day they inquire after Me, and in the knowledge of My ways they delight, as a nation that has done justice, and has not forsaken the judgment of their God, that they might ask of Me the judgments of justice; they delight in approaching God.
AC 2838.4. That “daily” and “this day” signify what is perpetual, is also evident from the sacrifice which was made every day. This, on account of the signification of “day,” “daily,” and “this day,” was called the continual or perpetual sacrifice (Num. 28:3, 23; Deut. 8:13; 11:31; 12:11). This is still more plainly evident from the manna which rained from heaven, of which it is thus said in Moses:
Behold I will rain bread from heaven; and the people shall go out and gather a portion day by day; and let no man leave of it till the morning. What they left till the morning bred worms, and putrefied, except what was kept the day before the Sabbath (Exod. 16:4, 19-20, 23).
This was because the manna signified the Lord’s Divine Human (John 6:31, 32, 49, 50, 58). And because it signified the Lord’s Divine Human, it signified heavenly food, which is nothing else than love and charity together with the goods and truths of faith. This food is given by the Lord in the heavens to the angels every moment, and thus perpetually and to eternity (see n. 2493). This also is what is meant in the Lord’s Prayer by, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matt. 6:11; Luke 11:3); that is, every instant to eternity.
AC 2493. I have spoken with the angels concerning the memory of things past, and the consequent anxiety regarding things to come; and I have been instructed that the more interior and perfect the angels are, the less do they care for past things, and the less do they think of things to come; and also that from this comes their happiness. They say that the Lord gives them every moment what to think, and this with blessedness and happiness; and that they are thus free from cares and anxieties. Also, that this was meant in the internal sense by the manna being received daily from heaven; and by the daily bread in the Lord’s Prayer; and likewise by the instruction not to be solicitous about what they should eat and drink, and wherewithal they should be clothed. But although the angels do not care for past things, and are not solicitous about things to come, they nevertheless have the most perfect recollection of past things, and the most perfect mental view of things to come; because in all their present there are both the past and the future. Thus they have a more perfect memory than can ever be thought of or expressed.
SD 361. That we should pray daily for the heavenly kingdom: and thus what is meant by “daily.” By “daily” in the Lord’s prayer is meant every moment, which can be confirmed by experience, and thus be understood; namely, that those to whom eternal happiness is shown suppose that they have been at once carried away into heaven. So those who have come out of temptations suppose that thus they have become the eternal heirs of the Kingdom; those who have labored in the vineyard also suppose that thus they ought to have eternal salvation, which they hence attribute to themselves. The contrary, however, is shown to them, namely, that they are again cast into dangers, into temptations, into perils and the like, on account of damnation. Hence it can be concluded, that “daily” signifies every moment in things successive. But in their simultaneous things, however, this is changed into a continuous glorification of God Messiah, so that the moments are continuous without differentiation. Hence are their perception and felicities, and their [belief] that they continually receive this from God Messiah. 1747, Dec. 17.
Questions and Comments
- When we say “daily” in the Lord’s Prayer, it seems from AC 2838 that “perpetually” is what is meant spiritually. Does this help make this part of the prayer more meaningful?
- In AC 2493 it says “the Lord gives [angels] every moment what to think, and this with blessedness and happiness; and that they are thus free from cares and anxieties.” How can we reconcile this teaching with the idea that angels are in freedom?
- If “daily” means every moment according to SD 361, should we say the Lord’s Prayer more than once a day?