This free Bible lesson is part 7 of 10 in our Lord’s Prayer study. God wants to satisfy the needs of his children, that’s why we are taught to pray for “our daily bread.”
Click here to see the other parts in this 10 lesson plan unit. We value your input to make these lessons more helpful for other readers, leave a comment below with your ideas.
Main idea: We rely on God to provide everything we need to live.
- Read Scripture references, John 6:1-59 and Matthew 6:20-34
- Gather: Bible, dry erase markers or chart paper and markers, crayons or markers, paper.
- Write “Give us today the food we need,” (Matthew 6:11, NLT) on a regular sheet of paper. Make sure it takes up the whole page, so it can easily be read. Fold it up and place it in an envelope.
- Take time to meditate on this week’s Scripture and think about your own life.
- Exodus 16:1-18
- John 6:1-40
- Matthew 6:31-34
- Proverbs 30:8
Bread Basket Upset. (Also known as “Fruit Basket Upset.”) Set up chairs in a circle, facing out. (You could also have all the chairs facing in, if you want to keep kids from running all around the room. Having the chairs face out helps older children keep from running into each other in their excitement.) There should be a chair for every child, minus one. Before the children sit in these seats, give them food names. There should be at least two children with each food name. Have all the children sit in a chair, except for the child who is “it” first. Have “it” stand in the middle of the chairs. They then call out a food name. Everyone with that name must get up and find a new seat. “It” must try to find a seat, too. The child who does not find a seat is the new “it.” At any point, “it” can say “bread basket upset!” All children must get up and find a new seat. Play continues until everyone has had a turn to be “it” or it is time to move on to the lesson.
Open in prayer, then say,
We are now halfway through learning the Lord’s Prayer! So far we have memorized “Our father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven” Last week we learned that as we wait for Jesus Christ to return, we follow God’s will and tell others the Good News of Jesus. The next part of the Lord’s prayer we are studying is in this envelope. This is a special letter from God. (Have a student open and read the letter, or do so yourself.) It says, “Give us today the food we need.” So far, all the parts of the prayer have been directed to God and about God. We have asked that his name be kept holy, that his kingdom would come soon and that his will would be done. Now the Lord’s prayer looks to our needs. The first need it covers is “give us today the food we need.” Often, this verse is translated as “give us this day our daily bread.” This petition, or request to the Lord, asks that God would give us the physical things we need to live. Why do you think some verses would say bread? (Allow a few children to briefly speculate.) In Bible times, people relied on bread to live. They had bread at almost every meal, as it was more plentiful than other things, like meat. Bread fills you up quickly and helps you stay full. This part of the prayer shows us that it is okay to ask God for the things we need. We need food to live healthy lives. These days, not many of us ask God every day to provide the food we need. We can open up our refrigerator or our pantry and grab a snack anytime we want to. But there are people in the world, even in our own city and maybe even in our own church, that can’t do that. There are people who are hungry and can’t always afford to buy the food they need. In Bible times, most people were hungry and could not buy all the food they needed to feed their family. Can you see now why praying “give us today the food we need” is so important? When we have a kitchen full of food, it can be really easy to forget where it all comes from. EVERYTHING we have comes from God. God gives us the clothes we wear and the food we eat. He gives us the family and friends we love. He gives us grace and mercy from our sins. When we ask God to give us the food we need, we are acknowledging and telling God that we know that he is the only one from whom we can get anything we need.
The Bible is full of stories about bread and food. One of my favorites from the Old Testament is the story of God raining down manna from heaven. (Exodus 16) What is manna, you ask? Well, that’s exactly what the Israelites asked Moses. They were wandering around the desert after leaving Egypt and they were hungry. But they didn’t have any food! They starting complaining to Moses, and God said that he would send them food from heaven. The Israelites woke up one morning to find manna all over on the ground. It was unlike any food they had ever seen! Each family collected enough to feed themselves. So some families took a lot, and some families took a little, but everyone had just enough to eat. No one had too much food, and no one had too little. God provided food for his people when they had none.
In the New Testament, Jesus fed over 5,000 people with only five little loaves of bread and two fish. This is about the amount of food you eat for lunch. In fact, the five bread loaves and two fish belong to a little boy in the crowd. He gave it to Jesus, and then Jesus prayed and divided this little boy’s lunch among the people who were with him. The Bible says there were 5,000 men in the crowd. Surely there were more women and children, too. So we don’t know how many people Jesus fed that day with a little kid’s lunch. It was at least 5,000. And they had leftovers! They filled up twelve baskets with scraps left over after everyone ate as much as they could! God provided food for the people who were following Jesus when they didn’t have any. The coolest part of the story is what happened the next day. Jesus and the disciples had crossed over a lake to tell more people about God’s plan for salvation. The crowd Jesus had fed the day before followed them! Jesus then has an interesting conversation with the people. (Read John 6:26-40. You could either read it all yourself or read the part of Jesus and have a student of group of students read the part of the crowd. It may help to print out the conversation, so students can more easily follow along.) The crowd asked Jesus when Jesus had got to the other side of the lake, and then this is conversation happened:
“26Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. 27 But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.”
28 They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?”
29 Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”
30 They answered, “Show us a miraculous sign if you want us to believe in you. What can you do? 31 After all, our ancestors ate manna while they journeyed through the wilderness! The Scriptures say, ‘Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
32 Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven. 33 The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
34 “Sir,” they said, “give us that bread every day.”
35 Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But you haven’t believed in me even though you have seen me. 37 However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them. 38 For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will. 39 And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day. 40 For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.””
Jesus tells us something very special in these verses. He is the Bread of Life! We all need food to keep our bodies alive, but Jesus here tells us there is something we need even more than food. We need HIM. We need Jesus to live good and healthy lives. And the best part is, you don’t have to keep coming to Jesus. You have to eat every day, but once you confess your sins and choose to follow Jesus, you become a child of God!
When we have Jesus living in our hearts, we don’t have to worry about anything. Today’s part of the Lord’s Prayer says “Give us TODAY the food we need.” We are not supposed to store up lots and lots of stuff, we are supposed to trust that God will provide everything we need every day. The Bible says in Matthew 6:31-34, “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” When we follow God and live right lives for him, he gives us everything we need for the day, so we don’t have to worry.
It is easy for us to want more stuff. We want more food, more clothes, more toys. The Bible has something to say about that. Let’s have a sword drill to find a good way of thinking about having stuff. Take out any bookmarks from your Bible and hold it, closed, above your head. When I say go, look up Proverbs 30:8. Go! (Have a student read it.) “First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs.” It is okay to ask God for things we want, but we have to remember the most important thing is for God to give us the things we need. We can always come to God and ask for the things we need. Matthew 7:7-11 says, “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.” Your parents love you and want to give you good things. God, who is perfect, loves you even more than your parents do, and these verses say he will give you good things when you ask him. Isn’t it great to know that we can go to God, knowing he will give us the things we need?
Now we will end out message on a serious note. Earlier I said that there are some people in our city and maybe in our own church that may not be able to open their fridge at any time and find food there. What about them? Doesn’t God love them? OF COURSE he does! It is a sad truth that some kids go to bed hungry because they don’t have enough food to eat. God loves them, and he want us, his children to help feed them. God certainly could feed people without our help, (and often does,) but he likes to let us help him. Today’s petition says “Give US today the food we need.” God wants everyone to have enough. Sometimes we have more food than we need for a day. Sometimes we have more than just enough. Instead of saving it up, maybe we could share our extra with those who don’t have any. What do you think? What are some ways your family could help feed people who are hungry? (List ways on the board, such as donate to a food bank, have people over for dinner, or volunteer at a soup kitchen.) These are all great ways to help people in need! As we help give people get the daily food they need, let’s keep in mind, and tell everyone we meet, that Jesus is the bread of life, and that while I tummies may get rumbly sometimes, when we have Jesus in our lives, we will never be hungry for spiritual things again!
End in prayer.
Craft: Menu. Show the children various take out menus for discuss what menus in restaurants look like. Have the children create menus that include their favorite meals as well as Spiritual “food,” such as “The Bread of Life” and the “Living Water.” “Sweet Salvation” could be a dessert. They could also list fruits of the Spirit. Let them get creative in what they include. They can include prices for their favorite dishes. The Spiritual dishes should not have monetary values, as we cannot pay for them. The prices could be “The Blood of Jesus” or “Priceless” or similar ideas the kids come up with. Encourage them to name their restaurant and come up with a good menu design. Young, non-literate children could make picture menus, or alternatively use magazines and store ads to make a collage with two columns: “needs” and “wants.”