HAVE you noticed the empty shelves in our Supermarkets recently?

While helping with our weekly shop, I was surprised to find that I couldn’t find some items.

Shortly afterwards, those empty shelves were featured in the Ten o’ Clock News, with warnings that there could be shortages this Christmas.

Every week at Church we pray the familiar words of a prayer which Jesus taught his disciples; a prayer we refer to as The Lord’s Prayer. It contains the sentence ‘Give us today, our daily bread’.

Those familiar words can easily trip off our tongue without realising the full meaning of their content.

To begin with, we are not just praying for ourselves.

The words ‘us’ and ‘our’ remind us that we are praying for hungry people everywhere, whether it is here in South Lakeland where help is available from Foodbanks, or a far-off trouble torn country.

Next, the word ‘bread’ implies that we are praying for the basic necessities, like bread and maybe baked beans, but not luxuries like smoked salmon and truffles; while ‘daily’ suggests that we should only ask God to provide sufficient food for the day ahead.

Finally, the whole prayer shows our reliance on God’s provision, which is so difficult if our larders are full to overflowing.

Perhaps if we lived in Afghanistan today, that request would be a truly heartfelt prayer.

Kevin Cook

Lay Reader

St Thomas’ Church.