The Lord’s Prayer
Give us our daily bread accroding to the day. —Luke 11:3
What happens in heaven when we pray for our daily bread?
John 6:53-58. Then Jesus said to them, Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him again at the last day. For My flesh is truly food, and My blood is truly drink. He who eats My flesh, and drinks My blood, remains in Me, and I in him. As the living Father has sent Me, and I live by the Father, so he who eats Me, he also shall live by Me. This is the bread that came down out of heaven, not as your fathers ate manna and died; he who eats of this bread shall live forever.
AC 3735.2. When in a holy state a man thinks of bread, as for instance of the bread in the Holy Supper, or of the “daily bread” in the Lord’s Prayer, then the thought which the man has about bread serves the angels who are with him as an objective representative for thinking about the good of love which is from the Lord. For the angels apprehend nothing of man’s thought about bread, but instead of this have thought concerning good, for such is the correspondence. In like manner when in a holy state a man thinks about raiment, the thought of the angels is about truth; and so it is with everything else in the Word. This shows what is the nature of the conjunction of heaven and earth by the Word, namely, that a man who reads the Word in a holy manner is by such correspondence conjoined closely with heaven, and through heaven with the Lord, even though the man thinks only of those things in the Word which are in the sense of its letter. The holiness itself then present with the man comes from an influx of celestial and spiritual thoughts and affections, such as angels have.
AC 3316.2. When one reads of bread [in the Word], there the angels do not perceive bread but instead of bread instantly they perceive celestial love and things that belong to celestial love, which is love to the Lord. And when one reads in the Word of wine they do not perceive wine but instead of wine spiritual love and the things that belong to that love, which is love towards the neighbor. Accordingly, when one reads of pottage or soup they do not perceive pottage or soup but matters of doctrine that are not as yet joined to good, and thus a disordered massing together of them. This shows the essence and character of angels’ thought and perception, and how remote these are from man’s thought and perception. If a person when in a holy frame of mind were to think as they do—such as during the Holy Supper—and instead of bread were to perceive love to the Lord, and instead of wine love towards the neighbor, his thought and perception would then be similar to the angels’, who in that case would draw nearer to him till at length it would be possible for them to share their thoughts with him, though only insofar as good was at the same time present in that person.
AC 3464. When in the Holy Supper he thinks in simplicity of the Lord from the words then used, “This is My body,” and “This is My blood,” the angels with him are in the idea of love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor; for love to the Lord corresponds to the Lord’s body, and to bread; and charity toward the neighbor corresponds to the blood, and the wine (n. 1798, 2165, 2177, 2187). And because there is such a correspondence, there flows an affection out of heaven through the angels into that holy state in which the man then is, and he receives this affection in accordance with the good of his life.
Questions and Comments
- What did the Lord mean when He said in John, “this is the bread that came down out of heaven”?
- In AC 3735.2 it says that when a man thinks of bread in a holy state the angels are affected by it. What can we do to try to enter into a holy state when we say the Lord’s Prayer?
- It also says that this same conjunction with heaven is made when the Word is read in a holy manner. What does it mean to read the Word in a holy manner?
- AC 3316 explains a connection with angels that can occur during Holy Supper. Can something similar occur when we say the Lord’s Prayer? If so, what is necessary to facilitate such a connection with angels?