On Prayer by Tertullian
Chapter VI.--The Fifth Clause.
But how gracefully has the Divine Wisdom arranged the order of the prayer; so that after things heavenly -- that is, after the |Name| of God, the |Will| of God, and the |Kingdom| of God -- it should give earthly necessities also room for a petition! For the Lord had withal issued His edict, |Seek ye first the kingdom, and then even these shall be added:| albeit we may rather understand, |Give us this day our daily bread,| spiritually. For Christ is our Bread; because Christ is Life, and bread is life. |I am,| saith He, |the Bread of Life;| and, a little above, |The Bread is the Word of the living God, who came down from the heavens.| Then we find, too, that His body is reckoned in bread: |This is my body.| And so, in petitioning for |daily bread,| we ask for perpetuity in Christ, and indivisibility from His body. But, because that word is admissible in a carnal sense too, it cannot be so used without the religious remembrance withal of spiritual Discipline; for (the Lord) commands that bread be prayed for, which is the only food necessary for believers; for |all other things the nations seek after.| The like lesson He both inculcates by examples, and repeatedly handles in parables, when He says, |Doth a father take away bread from his children, and hand it to dogs?| and again, |Doth a father give his son a stone when he asks for bread?| For He thus shows what it is that sons expect from their father. Nay, even that nocturnal knocker knocked for |bread.| Moreover, He justly added, |Give us this day,| seeing He had previously said, |Take no careful thought about the morrow, what ye are to eat.| To which subject He also adapted the parable of the man who pondered on an enlargement of his barns for his forthcoming fruits, and on seasons of prolonged security; but that very night he dies.