In the scriptures Jesus both prays and teaches prayer. His best-known instruction is what we Christians call the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13; Luke 11:2-4; 3 Nephi 13:9-13).
In this model prayer Jesus praises his Father and acknowledges his own subordinate place – as we might well do from our lowlier position. He asks for big things: “Thy kingdom come,” and so forth, showing that he knows and is committed to the big picture. Then he turns to daily needs: forgiveness, protection from evil, and food.
“Give us this day our daily bread,” he says. But why should I ask for it? Don’t I buy it – and the minivan and fuel I use to haul it home – with money I earn by working?
I might feel independent, but in truth our dependence on God is total.
Paul said, “He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things. . . . In him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:25, 28).
King Benjamin said, “[He] is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another” (Mosiah 2:21).
Much later, the Lord himself explained that the power of God “is in all things [and] giveth life to all things” (D&C 88:13) and “enlighteneth your eyes” and “quickeneth your understandings” (D&C 88:11).
By asking – or thanking – God for my daily bread, I acknowledge him as the ultimate source of all life, including mine.