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Mornings In The College Chapel by Francis Greenwood Peabody

LXXXVI THE LORD'S PRAYER, VII

DAILY BREAD

The Lord's Prayer begins with the desire for the great things, the universal needs; a holy world, a kingdom of righteousness, the will of God fulfilled. Then, in the light of these great things it goes on to one's personal needs, and prays, first of all, for the present, then for the past, then for the future. The prayer for the present is this: |Give us our daily bread,| -- our bread, that is to say, sufficient for to-day, enough to live on and to work by, just for today. The prayer is limitative. It puts restraint on my desire and limit on my ambition. It does not demand the future. It looks only to this present unexplored and unknown day. |Give us in this day what is necessary for us, fit to sustain us, -- strength to do thy will, patience to bring in thy kingdom, grace to hallow thy name.|

Into the midst of the restless anticipations of modern life, its living of to-morrow's life in {214} to-day's anxiety, its social disease which has been described as |Americanitis,| and which, if it is not arrested, will have to be operated on some day at the risk of the nation's life, there enters every morning in your daily prayer the desire for quiet acceptance of the day's blessings, the dismissal of the care for the morrow, the sense of sufficiency in the bread of to-day: --

|Lord, for to-morrow and its needs I do not pray,
Keep me from stain of sin, just for to-day.
Let me both diligently work, and duly pray,
Let me be kind in word and deed, just for to-day.
Let me no wrong or idle word unthinking say,
Set thou a seal upon my lips, just for to-day.
Let me be slow to do my will, prompt to obey,
Help me to sacrifice myself, just for to-day.
So for to-morrow and its needs, I do not pray,
But help me, keep me, hold me, Lord, just for to-day.|

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